It’s no surprise to any road cyclist that accidents involving bicycles are pretty common. Additionally, you’re probably aware that it’s usually the driver who is at fault. However, in the absence of safe cycle paths and routes, everyone needs to learn to share the road. It’s helpful for cyclists to be more aware of the common causes of accidents so that they can remain alert on the road. As many cyclists are also drivers, it’s also helpful for them to be aware of how they can be more careful when driving to protect their fellow cyclists. Here are some of the top causes of accidents on the road.
Distracted driving isn’t just a top cause of accidents with bicycles. It’s also the cause of a huge number of incidents involving multiple motor vehicles and pedestrians. Distracted driving can include many things, from talking on the phone to eating or listening to music while driving. All of these things make a road traffic incident more likely.
Vehicles turning into the path of cyclists are a common cause of accidents, and this is often due to vehicles overtaking and then slowing down to turn. This puts them in the cyclist’s path, not giving the cyclist time to stop. In many cases, the driver hasn’t noticed or isn’t keeping an eye on the cyclist so they’re not being careful around them.
Not Leaving Enough Space
Driving too close to cyclists is another major cause of accidents on the road. Just like motor vehicles need to give other vehicles space, they should be sure to leave plenty of space behind cyclists too. If they don’t, it can increase their chances of hitting a cyclist from behind and also makes it more difficult for cyclists to protect themselves.
Speeding causes many accidents on the road, including incidents with bicycles. Speeding vehicles take longer to stop and may be going too fast to react quickly or even see bicycles on the road. Many cyclists have had to seek out an experienced team of personal injury attorneys after a speeding car has knocked them over. It can be hard for cyclists to protect themselves from speeding drivers because they’re not predictable. The speed of a vehicle can be the difference between a minor injury and a fatal accident.
Unsafe Turning or Lane Changing
When a vehicle needs to turn or change lanes, this is when they can often cause a big problem for cyclists. If they’re not watching who else is on the road, it could lead to a dangerous accident. Turning or changing lanes without looking are both causes of frequent accidents.
Vehicle Doors (“Dooring”)
Cyclists can also experience problems with stationary vehicles. When drivers or passengers open a roadside door without looking, cyclists can be taken by surprise and ride right into it. For this reason, many people encourage the use of the “Dutch Reach“, which involves using your opposite hand to open the door, requiring you to look over your shoulder to check if anyone is coming before opening.
If you’re driving, be aware of cyclists on the road. If you’re cycling, it’s helpful to know some of the ways cars could put you in danger so you can try to avoid them.