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The 5 Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

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Posted on June 16, 2024

Bike riding is often discussed as one of the best ways to get in shape and to get outdoors to soak up some Vitamin D. Yet, a simple trip down the street could put you at risk if a negligent driver is sharing the road with you. As a Nashville bicycle accident lawyer from Selvidge Injury Law, we see people suffer catastrophic injuries and losses through fully preventable incidents.

Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?

Bicycle safety is everyone’s job. That means everyone on the road needs to pay close attention to bike riders, and bike riders have an obligation to ride within the rules of the road. Yet, as you can see from the five most common causes of bicycle accidents, most accidents like this are fully preventable.

#1: Hit By a Car

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shares details on the most common causes of a bicycle accident leading to injuries. The first version on that list, accounting for 30% of all bike accident injuries, is being hit by a car. This can occur as a result of:

  • Distracted drivers using a phone or even eating behind the wheel
  • Inexperienced drivers who do not know the rules of the road
  • Speeding or illegal turns
  • Intoxication
  • Mechanical failure

#2: Falls

About 17% of those hurt by a bicycle accident suffer those injuries as a result of falling. There are plenty of reasons falls can happen, including slippery conditions. Sometimes, rider inexperience can also lead to falls.

#3: Poorly Maintained Roads

Bike accidents can also occur as a result of a rider falling due to uneven pavement or on roadways that are not well cared for and in good condition. If there is a bike trail, even if you are in that bike trail, if it is not in good condition and you fall, you could suffer serious injuries. The property owner or the city could be responsible in these situations.

#4: Rider Error

Some situations result in a rider falling or suffering an injury because they made a mistake. Just like a pedestrian crossing the road, though, car drivers are responsible for taking every action they can to anticipate the decisions of the bike rider and to eliminate any potential risks possible. That means avoiding the bike rider who makes a decision whenever it is possible to do so.

#5: Collision With Objects

It is not uncommon for people to suffer an accident as a result of colliding with an object. That object may be a permanent fixture, like a tree or something that unexpectedly crosses the road.

Consider that many of the accidents that occur on the roadways are with cars. Those accidents often occur because the driver did not see the person on the bike or because the cyclist failed to stop at a red light. Other times, a car passenger opens their door without checking to see if there is anyone present, and that causes the bike rider to fall.

The complexity of these cases warrants the need to speak with a bicycle accident attorney if you have suffered injuries in such an accident.