When you’re out cycling, it can be difficult to keep your eye on everything that’s happening around you. Cars may pull out in front of you unexpectedly. Pedestrians crossing the street or riding their bikes on sidewalks may not see or hear you coming, and they may unknowingly walk right into your path. If a car door opens suddenly, it can be difficult to avoid it. When you’re operating your bicycle at high speeds, even the smallest distraction can turn into a major accident. In this guide, you’re about to learn about the most common causes for bicycle accidents:
1: Riding at Night
When you’re riding your bicycle during the day, you have the benefit of being able to see. If a driver suddenly swerves into your lane, for example, you can usually spot it out ahead of time and avoid it with relative ease. At night, however, things change drastically. You have significantly less visibility on the road around you, which can make it impossible to see an oncoming car or pedestrian until it’s too late.
2: Riding Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol
Alcohol and drugs have a major impact on your ability to operate a bicycle safely. If you’re riding under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, then your reaction time is severely hindered. Alcohol slows your reflexes, inhibitions, and brain functions, all of which are essential to being a safe cyclist. If you drink alcohol or take drugs before getting on your bike, then you dramatically increase the risk that someone will get hurt.
It’s important to realize that cycling accidents occur every single day, and they can happen to anyone. Perhaps you’re a very experienced cyclist who has been riding for years and consider yourself an expert behind the handlebars. If this is the case, then it still doesn’t mean that you’re immune from suffering an accident. All it takes is one mistake on your part, and an accident can happen. As a result, it’s important to be very cautious when you’re out cycling. You never know what other cyclists or drivers are going to do around you, so your best bet is to always ride defensively.
4: Car Doors Opening
One of the more common causes for accidents can occur when you’re riding your bike and a car door opens right in front of you. If you’re going at a high speed, then it can be extremely difficult to swerve or stop in time. It’s even worse if the car is parked on the street and someone is getting out of the vehicle. In most cases, it would be easy for you to slam right into them before they have a chance to get back inside.
Another common cause of accidents is when a rider slams into a pedestrian. In many cases, the person gets thrown off their bike and hits the ground pretty hard. It can be even worse if they slam head first into the pavement or another object, which could result in them suffering a major injury and needing to visit the emergency room.
6: Poorly-Maintained Roads
Roads are supposed to be properly maintained so cyclists don’t have to worry about running into hazards, but this is often not the case. Cracks in the road can cause your bicycle tire to suddenly blow out, for example, which could send you tumbling over the handlebars.
Ultimately, there are many causes for these accidents, but if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then it’s wise to get in touch with a bicycle accident lawyer who can guide your next steps.