Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Many New Jersey residents choose bicycles as their preferred form of transportation. Riding a bike is a great form of exercise, but it’s not without its risks. Riding on roads with vehicles can be dangerous and even deadly. In 2018, 857 bicyclists in the United States died in crashes.
Unlike cars and other vehicles, bicycles have no enclosure, so there’s nothing to protect you in the event of an accident. Even if you wear a helmet and knee and elbow pads, you could still end up seriously injured. That’s why as a bicyclist, it’s a good idea to understand the common causes of bicycle crashes so you can better prevent them.
Reasons for Bike Crashes
Many bicycle accidents occur because motorists are distracted or unable to see the bicycle. Some crashes occur due to intoxication and reckless driving as well.
However, not all bike crashes are caused by motorists. Bicyclists often play a role in causing their own accidents. Make sure you are following the rules of the road at all times. Bicyclists need to follow traffic signals just like other drivers.
Most crashes are caused by distracted driving. Therefore, you should always be aware of where you are going. Never take your eyes off the road and avoid using smartphones and other devices.
Also, be mindful of your speed. Although bicycles don’t go quite as fast as cars, you still need to make sure you are traveling at a safe speed. Potholes, debris, rain and ice can cause you to spin out and crash. Therefore, you should slow down in certain conditions.
You should also be careful when merging. Bicycles are small and not easily seen, so don’t be constantly moving through traffic and switching lanes. Bicycles are often lost in blind spots, so avoid staying too close to a vehicle. You should stay on the right side of the road unless you need to turn left or avoid a road hazard.
It is important to know that many bicycle crashes happen in parking lots, driveways and sidewalks. That’s because these areas are more confined and it’s hard to avoid getting hit. Therefore, bike riders should be especially careful when traveling in these areas. Be proactive and never assume that a motorist will see you. It’s always better to wait for the vehicle to back up or let them have the right of way.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
While riding a bicycle can be fun and healthy, it’s not the safest route of transportation. You have nothing to protect you in the event of a crash, which means serious injuries and fatalities are common.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a bicycle accident, make sure you understand your legal rights. Contact Morristown bicycle accident attorney Michael P. Burakoff. He has the experience and knowledge to help you obtain full compensation for your injuries. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling (973) 455-1567.