Bicycle accidents can end in serious injury—usually for the cyclist. Serious bike accidents, whether they involve another vehicle or bicycle, happen most often in urban areas, especially during the warmer months. While bikes are an environmentally friendly way to get around and stay fit, riders still have the same responsibilities as vehicles.
According to the NHTSA, “[f]ailing to yield the right of way is the highest factor in fatal bike crashes, followed by bicyclists not being visible.” Here are some other common causes of bike accidents:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving—or riding—can lead to serious accidents. Both drivers and cyclists must pay attention to what’s happening around them. Texting, talking on the phone, eating and other activities can take your attention off the road.
- Speeding vehicles: Speeding decreases a driver’s stopping and reaction time, which can be deadly. However, even vehicle vs. bike accidents at low speeds can be deadly to the cyclist.
- Inadequate buffer: Whether there’s a designated bike lane or a cyclist is riding on the side of the road, cyclists need a safe buffer of at least three feet. Failing to leave enough space can lead to collisions. It also makes it harder for cyclists to avoid accidents.
- Running stop signs or signals: Both vehicles and cyclists can be guilty of running stop signs or traffic lights. Take care to make sure you have the right-of-way before proceeding through an intersection—and look both ways to ensure other bikes and vehicles are coming to a complete stop.
- Impaired driving: Driving or biking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or when drowsy, can be fatal. Never drive or bike when you’re less than sober and alert.
Contact an experienced Sarasota, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh for assistance with your bike accident claim.