In recent years, many people have taken up bicycling. However, cyclists face a number of dangers when sharing the roadway. Bicyclists are relatively unprotected compared to the driver or passengers in cars, trucks and other motor vehicles, and this vulnerability can lead to serious or fatal accidents. What causes these collisions?
4 common causes of bicycle accidents
Cycling accidents have risen significantly in recent years, with fatal accidents increasing by 16 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 and preliminary data indicating that fatalities increasing by another 5 percent in 2021. A variety of factors can contribute to these accidents, including:
- Drivers’ failure to yield during turns or U-turns— Sometimes, drivers make the dangerous decision to make a U-turn or turn onto another road without appropriately yielding to the bicyclist. This can lead to disastrous collisions. Even worse, if a driver turns without signaling it can leave cyclists unable to respond appropriately to their actions.
- Doorings — “Doorings” occur when a driver opens their door in front of a cyclist. This often results in the bicyclist crashing directly into the door or swerving into traffic to avoid that door.
- Motor vehicles following or passing at unsafe distance — Despite the fact that Pennsylvania law requires drivers to give cyclists at least 4 feet of space when sharing the road or passing, drivers do not always provide them with this space.
- Blocked bicycle lanes—While bicycle lanes can protect cyclists on busy roadways, vehicles parked in those lanes may force cyclists out of that lane and into busy traffic.
While bicycling accidents can have serious or fatal consequences, injured people and their families do not have to face the aftermath of these accidents alone. Legal options are available that can help you address the cost of health care and other challenges after a collision.