According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 bicyclists perished in crashes with motor vehicles on U.S. roadways in 2019. Another 4,900 were injured, some catastrophically — former NBA player Shawn Bradley was struck by a motorist earlier this year while bicycling and has been rendered paraplegic.
Drivers and bicyclists are required to share the roadways and follow all rules of the road. Common causes of bicycle-car crashes include the following:
- The “left cross.” A driver makes a left-hand turn into the path of an oncoming bicyclist. The driver typically doesn’t notice the bicyclist or misjudges their speed.
- The “right hook.” A driver making a right-hand turn doesn’t detect a bicyclist who pulls up on their right in a bike lane or on the shoulder, and cuts them off or strikes them.
- Bicyclists should never ride against traffic. It’s unlawful, it’s disconcerting to drivers, and it jeopardizes other bicyclists riding on the correct side of the road.
- A driver exiting a parked car opens their door into the path of a passing bicyclist.
- A driver or bicyclist runs a red light.
- A driver does not allow enough room for a bicyclist when passing.
Bicyclists should be proactive to improve their riding safety:
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet, which can reduce the risk of head injury by 50 percent, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Get noticed! Lights in the front and back; reflectors on the frame, tires, and pedals; and wear bright, reflective clothes while riding … especially at night.
- Ride defensively; always assume the motorist doesn’t see you.
If you sustain a bicycling injury due to someone’s negligence, contact our office to protect your rights.