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What Are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?

causes-bicycle-accidents The number of bicycle accidents in the United States is on the rise. In 2019, more than 700 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 48,000 injured in traffic crashes. That's up from 677 deaths in 2018 and 41,000 injuries in 2017.

By following these tips from our personal injury attorneys in Illinois, you can avoid being involved in an accident yourself. And if you do get into an accident with another cyclist, pedestrian or car, contact our Chicago bicycle accident lawyers toll-free immediately at (888) 424-5757, so we can help protect your rights as a victim.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

There are many bike accidents every year in the United States. The most common kind of bicycle accidents include:

  • Falling to avoid a car or other hazard
  • Collision with a car
  • Collision with an object such as a tree or pole
  • Loss of control
  • Sliding out

Among children and adolescents, the most common kind of bike accidents include:

  • Being struck by a car while riding (70%)
  • Collision with a vehicle (60%)
  • Falls (60%)

Among adults, the most common types of bicycle accidents include:

  • Sliding out (14%)
  • Falling to avoid a car or other hazard (15%)
  • Collision with a vehicle (14%)
  • Collision with an object such as a tree or pole (11%)
  • Loss of control (12%)
  • Collision with pedestrian (10%)
  • Loss of control (10%)
  • Sliding out (8%)
  • Being struck by a car while riding (3%)

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), about 29,000 pedal cyclist injuries and more than 26,000 pedestrian injuries occurred in 2005. About 64% of pedal cyclists injured were male, and the majority (82%) of the wounded pedal cyclist were 20 years or older.

Pedestrians who were injured were primarily male (58%), and about 9% of the pedestrians were 65 years or older. Common bicycle accidents can be divided into two types: bike-on-bike accidents and bike-vs.-car accidents. In 2018, bicyclists killed 818 people in the United States, accounting for 2 percent of traffic fatalities.

Of these bicyclist deaths, 626 occurred in bike-on-bike accidents, and 102 occurred in bike-vs.-car accidents. Further, common bicycle accidents include falls and bicycle vs. pedestrian accidents. Most are due to collisions with vehicles in terms of specific causes of bike accidents.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

Statistics show that around 400,000 bike accidents occurred in the United States in 2018. Of these, about 45,000 are car-bicycle collisions.

Bike accidents occur fairly often. An average of 1,000 to 2,000 people die in bicycle accidents each year, and another 500,000 to 1,000,000 are injured.

Among children between the ages of five and fourteen years old, bicycle accidents cause more deaths than any other kind of injury. But the rate of such bicycle accidents is rapidly decreasing, thanks to more people wearing helmets and laws requiring their use.

Bike accidents are more common in rural areas than urban environments because fewer people ride bicycles in cities. In addition, traffic is often heavier, making it more dangerous for bicyclists to share the road with cars.

Sometimes, bicycle accidents result from bicycle malfunctions or faulty equipment, such as brake failure or tire blowouts. But other times, the cause of a bicycle crash is the carelessness of a motorist sharing the road.

Bicycle Accidents

Every year, there are many bicycle accidents in the United States. In 2016 alone, 491 people died from bicycle-related accidents. Of course, that number is small compared to the total numbers on the road, but it still means one death every two hours.

Of the cyclists who died in an accident in 2016, 20.5% were under 16. Only 6.1% were over the age of 45. These numbers seem to be fairly consistent with previous years regarding the percentage of accidents with children. Still, it is surprising how few accidents in the elderly are involved in are reported.

Most fatal bicycle accidents occurred on weekdays, but most non-fatal accidents happened on weekends. The time of day when accidents most often occurred was from 6 pm.-9 pm., likely because it started to get dark earlier.

Most fatalities occurred in urban areas, though most non-fatal accidents happened in rural areas.

Bicycle Crashes Involving Sporting Activities

Cycling is a popular recreational and sporting activity in the U.S., particularly with students. Unfortunately, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, 726 cyclists were killed in 2018, representing 2.1 percent of traffic fatalities.

This stat fell from a high of 883 fatalities in 1975. However, severe injuries from bicycle crashes are more numerous, with 467,000 people reporting them in 2018.

Although bicycles are often thought of as children's toys, regular use of a bike is an essential component of the exercise regimen of many Americans. Bicycle ridership has increased in the United States over the past ten years due to rising gas prices and traffic congestion. In 2016, an estimated 48 million adults bicycled in the past year, up from 43 million in 2014.

NHTSA data indicate that in 2017, 677 bicycle fatalities resulted from collisions with cars. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury and death among cyclists.

Avoiding a Bicycle Crash: Saftey by Bicycling in Numbers

America (BCA) recommends that states develop a "bicycle-friendly" designation system, similar to the existing one put forth by the League of American Bicyclists, to help state and local governments apply the appropriate amount of resources to bicycle safety.

The non-profit organization that examines bicycle crash data to improve the safety of bicyclists on America's roadways. The group advocates a "safety in numbers" approach to bicycle safety, with an ultimate goal of making American bicyclists safer by allowing them to take advantage of the security provided by riding in large groups.

BCA also recommends that states improve their crash reporting systems, requiring that all bicycle-involved crashes be reported to the police. According to a study, about 5% to 17% of the cyclist fatalities were from motor vehicle crashes. This statistic is a higher percentage than other forms of recreation, such as swimming and hiking.

Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Failure to obey a stop sign or a yield sign is one of the most common bicycle accidents.

The Driver’s Fault in Bike Accidents

A Driver Turns into the Path of an Oncoming Cyclist

A left turn (left hook, left cross) accident occurs when a driver turns into the path of an oncoming cyclist. These crashes could happen anywhere, even in bike lanes or designated bike paths, but are more common when cyclists are in the street (and not in a bike lane) due to how closely they can approach parked cars along city streets.

Bicyclist and Driver Moving in the Same Direction

A right hook accident may occur when a cyclist moves in the same direction as a motorist. The motorist turns across the cyclist's path, cutting them off.

On the other hand, if the motorist and the cyclist are not moving in the same direction, the vehicle may strike the bicycle by pulling out from a parking spot or driveway. It is called an intersection accident.

A vehicle from a side street can collide with a cyclist on the main road; this is known as "crossing the path" and is one of the most common bicycle accidents.

A Car Emerging From a Parking Lot Can Result in a Bike Accident

A car emerging from a car park can cause a bike accident, or a truck making its turn can be hazardous for bicyclists. There are many dangers that bicycle riders must face every day, and knowing what the most common types of accidents are can prepare them for what is to come.

A right cross collision occurs when a driver strikes a bicyclist from the right with the front of their vehicle, causing head and upper body injuries.

A Car Door Opening in Front of a Moving Cyclist Can Cause an Accident

A car door opening in front of a moving cyclist can cause serious injury. The cyclist has very little time to react, and even the slightest mistake can have dramatic consequences.

In addition, a car door opening can knock a cyclist off balance, putting them at risk of colliding with another vehicle.

Drunk Drivers, Distracted Pedestrians, and Inattentive Others Cause Bike Accidents

Drunk drivers, distracted pedestrians, and inattentive drivers conspire to make dangerous bicycle crashes a prevalent threat. If you have been the victim of one of these or other kinds of bicycle accidents, you need to contact our experienced bicycle accident lawyers immediately.

Oncoming Traffic Can Lead to a Bike Crash

The oncoming traffic of America's busy roads is an everyday danger for cyclists. According to the NHTSA, bicycles regularly account for 2-3% of all traffic fatalities.

Poor Visibility Contributes to Bike Crashes

Some drivers fail to see cyclists on the road and, as a result, cause them serious injury or death. If a vehicle pulls into traffic and strikes a bicyclist, it is typically considered the driver’s fault.

However, many other accidents can occur while riding a bike. It's extremely dangerous for a vehicle driver to disregard a bicyclist's safety.

A Bicyclist Fault in a Bike Accident

A left cross accident is a common type of bike accident that occurs when you are riding your bike, and a motor vehicle turns left in front of you.

Left cross accidents involving cyclists and motor vehicles are the most common type of bicycle crashes, according to research published by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

A bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle is always the driver's fault. Failure to observe a red light or stop sign was the cause of 21.2% of car/bike accidents in the U.S. in the year 2011 alone.

Negligence Results in Bike Accidents

Someone else's negligence on the road can be a serious threat to cyclists. In 2006, for example, of all motor vehicle fatalities in Illinois, bike accidents accounted for 0.5%. Around 24% were cyclist fatalities, and 76% were motor vehicle driver/passenger fatalities.

Comparative negligence in bicycle accident cases may affect a bicyclist's compensation recovery if they can be assigned any degree of fault. A bicycle accident at a green light does not necessarily mean a motorist is at fault.

The At-Fault Party in a Bike Accident

In some states, bicyclists might be partially at fault if they do not stop at a red light or ride through a green light when it is dangerous.

A bicyclist riding on the wrong side of the road can cause a collision with an oncoming car. This type of accident is also known as "being hit head-on by a car" or being struck by a car "coming out of nowhere."

Bike crashes occur mainly due to cyclist error. Still, they can be caused by drivers, according to an analysis of data from the NEISS All Injury Program conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide.

Injuries That May Occur Due to a Bicycle Accident

Damage to the blood vessels, brain, spinal cord, and broken bones are just a few of the injuries that can occur during bicycle crashes.

Multiple surgeries may be necessary if a bicycle accident victim breaks their bones. The type of surgery required depends on the severity of the injury. A right hook accident can result in chronic pain or fatal injuries.

Bike Accidents Toll on the Economy

According to the League of American Bicyclists, injured cyclists cost U.S. businesses more than $12 billion annually in lost productivity, medical expenses, and workers' compensation costs.

Similarly, injured bicyclists cost the nation $63.8 million in direct hospital costs (2009 data), according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (2014).

In addition, the JAMA study found that injured cyclists were more likely to require hospital admission than injured motor vehicle occupants in almost all states examined. Bicycle accident victims are most commonly male, aged 20 or older, and are more likely to suffer severe injury than those involved in accidents with motor vehicles.

Similarly, bicycle accident victims often experience the same types of injuries you would expect from a car accident. The difference is that bicycle accidents can involve more serious injuries, such as road rash, fractured bones, and all-around soft tissue injuries. In addition, a bicycle accident can also inflict damage to the head or neck.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC goes an extra mile over other law firms in recovering compensation such as lost wages to help you foot your medical bills for your serious injuries.

Clients who have dealt previously with several law firms rate our services as among the best in this business, which is only one of the many reasons you should trust us with your case.

Seeking Medical Attention Following a Bicycle Accident

Bike accidents are often caused by motorists driving inattentively or without bicyclists. If you have been the victim of a bike accident, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.

If you are not sure if you have sustained injuries, check for the following signs: Agitation Bruising Rim cuts or abrasions Broken bones that are causing you to have pain when moving Any deformity in your body or limbs

You should also go to the emergency room if you have been knocked unconscious, have a hard time breathing or your injuries worsen at any point after the accident.

Emergency Diagnosis

An emergency room physician will diagnose your injuries and determine whether or not they are serious. They will most likely X-ray the area of your injury to determine if you have suffered a fracture or any internal bleeding.

Emergency room physicians may prescribe painkillers and antibiotics to help treat your injuries. In the case of a head injury, you may get stitches.

Even if your injuries are not severe, you should still seek medical attention for your bike accident.

For example, if you suffer from neck or back pain after your bike accident, an emergency room physician will carefully examine your injuries. You may be given a neck brace or an air cast, depending on the severity of your injury.

Bicycle accident victims' future treatment success relies on prompt first aid. Similarly, physical therapy is critical in recovering from many types of accidents involving vehicles.

Compensation Available to Injured Bicyclists

The at-fault driver's insurance company often offers a settlement after an accident, including bicycle crashes. However, it's essential to know the most common types of bike accidents so you're aware of what to look out for when determining the value of your claim.

In a bike accident, injured cyclists might recover lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages. Consequently, it is crucial to seek a free consultation with our bicycle crashes attorneys about your legal options.

If you've been injured in a bicycle accident, you need legal advice. Our personal injury attorney can recover financial compensation for your bicycle accident.

Preventive Measures to Curb Bicycle Accidents

If you’re on a bike, obey stop signs and keep moving. Never assume another vehicle will yield to you. Many drivers and cyclists treat the roads as a contest, not a cooperative effort to keep one another safe. Cyclists should follow traffic laws and always wear helmets to avoid injury.

Riding on a bike lane may be a safer option for most cyclists, but some bike lanes cause more injuries than others when it comes to accidents. Likewise, motor vehicle accidents are avoidable if riders take the proper precautions.

When it comes to accidents in the U.S., most bicycle crashes are caused by: Cyclists riding on sidewalks against traffic Motorists driving too close to cyclists Bicyclists not obeying traffic laws

A vehicle driver shouldn't be the only one trained to drive safely.

Bicyclists should know how to ride their bikes properly, not to put themselves at risk. Likewise, motor vehicle drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially while driving on the road with cyclists.

Bicycle Rider Role in Road Safety

A bicycle rider should always make sure they are visible to other drivers on the road. A bicycle rider should wear bright and reflective clothing and use a white front light and red rear light on their bikes when riding at night. Bicyclists should choose roads with dedicated bicycle lanes to ensure drivers easily see them.

A bicyclist should be on the lookout for vehicles moving in the opposite direction, changing lanes, making turns illegally, and negligently opening car doors. In addition, bike riders need to avoid accidents while on the streets.

Self-Inflicted Injuries

Other drivers cause not all bike injuries; some are self-inflicted, typically when a bicycle does not undergo regular maintenance and requires repairs.

Many riders fail to give their bike the attention it needs and suffer, which means it is up to the rider to ensure a long, healthy life for their bicycle. Likewise, vehicle drivers must remember to watch for motorcyclists and cyclists.

Hiring a Bicycle Accidents Lawyer

Have you been injured in a bicycle accident?

Suppose you have, you need to speak with our bicycle accident lawyers as soon as possible. Then, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

At our law firm, we specialize in helping people who have been injured in bike accidents. As a result, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact us today toll-free at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation! We’ll review your case and let you know how we can help ensure you are compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

Our bicycle accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning; you only pay us if we recover compensation.

Confidential or sensitive information you provide to our legal team is kept private through an attorney-client relationship.


Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
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