Bicycle Accidents Happen
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 there were 743 cyclists killed and an estimated 48,000 injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes and when broken down by state, California leads the list with the most bicycle fatalities. Cyclist deaths account for 2 percent of all major motor vehicle traffic fatalities and injured cyclists make up 2 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes during the year. Cyclist fatalities have been rising steadily since 2010, a total of a 19 percent increase.
Cyclists in urban and suburban settings are most likely to be injured or killed in a traffic accident when compared to their rural counterparts. In a place like Rancho Cucamonga & San Bernardino in the Inland Empire, fatal bicycle accidents are statistically more likely to occur. In accidents like this, a wrongful death attorney can help.
Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries – Bicycle accidents, especially those with a motorized vehicle, can cause life changing personal injuries. Although mandatory helmet laws and the use of safety equipment such as lights, flashers, reflectors and wearing brightly colored reflective clothing can reduce the risk of being struck by a driver on the road, there is still a significant risk of injury when an accident does occur. The most common injuries in bicycle accidents are as follows: Concussions, Traumatic brain injuries, Fractures of arms, legs and ribs, Spinal and neck injuries, Scrapes, cuts and contusions, often referred to as “road rash” and/or Internal bleeding and damage to vital organs.
Bicycle accident injuries can be more severe than other traffic accidents due to the exposed nature of the bicycle rider. While drivers and passengers in cars may be protected by a steel frame and seat belts, bicycle riders have none of the safety features as others who they share the road with.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists riding in the State of California have just as much right to roads and highways as motor vehicles. Even with proactive action taken by many cities across the state, the reality remains that bike accidents occur at alarming rates each year. Unfortunately, as safe as a cyclist may be, he or she will be exposed to the possibility of an accident caused by the fault of another person, company, or agency. The following are common types of accidents that occur throughout California on a regular basis:
Dooring Accidents – Dooring accidents are most common in metropolitan regions, as it is more likely that cyclists will be traveling alongside parked vehicles. These types of accidents occur when a driver exits his or her vehicle without first checking for oncoming bike riders. Upon collision, the rider can be thrown off his or her bike and potentially suffer broken bones, facial injuries, or other serious injuries. Even when the rider does not make direct contact with the vehicle door, the rider can be placed in serious danger when attempting to avoid a collision and run into oncoming traffic instead.
Sideswiping Accidents – Drivers often fail to provide cyclists with enough space when passing them. This blatant disregard for cyclist safety often leads to sideswiping accidents, where a driver will collide with the side of a cyclist. Similar to dooring accidents, riders can sometimes sustain further injury when attempting to avoid a collision.
Rear-Ending Accidents – Rear-ending accidents can occur when cyclists and motor vehicle drivers collide front end to the back end of one another. Accidents like these can occur when the automobile driver fails to see the cyclist in front of him or her but they can also occur when the driver has made an unexpected stop, thus causing the cyclist to collide with the rear of the vehicle.