Cyclists who ride on America’s millions of miles of roads and pathways can be injured in many ways. But while unique crashes happen occasionally, bicycle accident attorneys know that most accidents happen for the same handful of reasons.
Knowing the most common types of bicycle accidents can help cyclists and drivers prevent dangerous and costly collisions.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Staying informed about the most common types of bicycle accidents doesn’t just save lives and prevent injuries; it can also help you avoid an unfortunate financial situation.
Insurance companies, bicycle accident lawyers, and courts are aware of the most common situations that lead to crashes, and they know who is most likely to be at fault. Fault determines whose insurance policy pays for the injuries and how much compensation is possible.
Around 1,000 cyclists die annually in bicycle accidents, which injure around 130,000 more. Taking the time to learn about the situations that most frequently lead to bicycle crashes can help drivers and cyclists stay vigilant as they share the roads.
Right Hook Collision
A right hook collision happens when the driver of a motor vehicle either fails to see a bicyclist or misjudges their speed.
Right hook accidents occur when a driver passes a cyclist on the left and then makes a right turn. This situation easily places the bicycle rider into the driver’s blind spot, although it’s also common for car drivers to misjudge how far away a cyclist is or how fast they’re riding.
Stoplight collisions, also called red-light collisions, happen at intersections when a bicyclist pulls ahead and stops next to a waiting car rather than behind it.
In this situation, the cyclist typically assumes the driver they’re waiting next to will proceed straight ahead. If the waiting driver makes a right turn instead, they can hit the waiting cyclist.
Left Cross Collision
Left cross collisions happen when a cyclist is traveling with the flow of traffic and a driver makes a left turn, hitting the bicyclist. Left cross collisions are common at intersections, but they can happen anywhere a driver might be making a left turn into oncoming traffic, like at a driveway or parking lot entrance.
Right Cross Collision
Right cross collisions are similar to left cross collisions, but they happen on the cyclist’s right. These accidents often occur when a driver pulls out into traffic, hitting a cyclist on the right. Right cross collisions can happen when the motor vehicle driver fails to notice the cyclist or misjudges their speed or distance.
Rear-end collisions happen when a bicyclist rides directly into the back of a car or vice versa. These crashes are more common when traffic is stopped or moving slowly.
Most rear-end collisions result when a driver or cyclist fails to begin braking in time and rides into the back of a vehicle that has stopped at a red light or stop sign. Rear-end collisions can also happen in moving traffic, usually when a bicyclist swerves to avoid hitting something in the road.
Also called a door prize accident, dooring collisions happen when a bicyclist rides alongside a row of parked cars. When a driver or passenger opens their door without checking for oncoming traffic, a cyclist can ride directly into the open car door without having time to stop.
Overtaking accidents happen when the driver of a motor vehicle tries to overtake a cyclist and ends up hitting them. Narrow lanes, heavy traffic, and poor visibility are all factors that increase the chances of an overtaking accident. When a cyclist is side-swiped by a driver attempting to pass, the result is often injury or death.
How the Details of a Bicycle Accident Affect Insurance Compensation
Bicycle accident injuries are often serious due to the force of impact when a larger vehicle collides with a bicyclist. These injuries lead to medical expenses and often impact all areas of the cyclist’s life, including their career and family.
When an injured cyclist needs help paying for medical expenses caused by a driver’s negligence, they need to work with a bicycle accident lawyer to build a case showing they deserve compensation.
Any bicycle accident lawyer can tell you that certain factors seriously impact the insurance compensation an injured bicyclist is eligible to receive.
Riding while impaired, breaking traffic laws, or failing to wear a helmet when required by law are all examples of how a cyclist’s actions can hurt their chances of receiving compensation after a driver causes a crash.
Don’t Wait to Speak With a Bicycle Accident Attorney
Anytime a bicycle accident occurs, it’s best to take the time to consult with a bicycle accident lawyer. When injuries are serious or life-altering, significant insurance compensation can hang in the balance.
Bicycle accident attorneys know the most common types of bicycle accidents and how to represent you in an insurance claim. Without representation, an injured bicyclist will unlikely recover the payout they deserve.
Waiting to speak with a bicycle accident attorney after a bicycle accident is a mistake. If a bike accident injured you, protect your finances by speaking with a bicycle accident lawyer.