Riding a bicycle is a popular means of transportation for many individuals whether for leisure, exercise or even commuting to work. Although bicyclists are required to ride safely and abide by traffic laws, motor vehicle drivers must share the road and exercise reasonable care not to injure others. Despite these mutual obligations, bicycle accidents are becoming increasingly common, often resulting in serious injuries.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Although there are many factors involved in bicycle accidents, the negligent actions of drivers are often the cause, including:  

  • Distracted driving
  • Sideswiping 
  • Rear-ending
  • Drifting into a bike lane 
  • Backing up 
  • Pulling out into traffic
  • Running a stop sign or traffic light
  • Opening a car door

At the same time, bicyclists are required to follow the same local and state traffic laws as motorists and exercise reasonable care not to cause injuries. This includes stopping at all traffic signals and not riding on sidewalks. In some locations, bicyclists must ride on a designated bike path or lane. If one is not provided, bicyclists must ride with the direction of traffic, close to the curb. 

Additionally, bicyclists must adhere to safety rules such as wearing a helmet and using proper turn signals. All bicycles must also be equipped with reflectors, working brakes and working lights at night. Depending on the jurisdiction, contributory negligence may be assessed against a bicyclist who fails to exercise this level of care, lowering the value of an injury claim.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicyclist can suffer serious injuries in a collision or accident, including:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Lacerations and bruises
  • Neck and spine injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Jaw and facial injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries