Bicycle Crashes: What Drivers and Cyclists Should Know
Cyclists and drivers have the exact same rights on the road. This means that bicycle accident cases and investigations are treated with the same gravity as vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. To avoid an expensive and dangerous crash, here are what you have to bear in mind.
The majority of cyclists do not report crashes to the police
The costs of cyclist injury and death reach over $4 billion per year in the US. What’s more, drivers are found at fault in the majority of bicycle accident cases. However, only around 10% of bicyclists report their injuries to the police.
It’s important to contact the emergency services not only because your injuries may be severe even if you feel fine for the moment, but also because it can be crucial in making a claim later.
The collision report provided by police can help you find the facts of the matter, including evidence and witnesses who can help determine fault.
Stats to keep in mind about bicycle crashes
Here, we’re going to highlight some stats that show not just the prevalence, but also the seriousness of bicycle crashes:
- More than 350 cyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina every year
- 20 cyclists are killed in road accidents each year
- Bicyclists are involved in 15% of all fatal crashes
- Cyclists have an 85% chance of dying in crashes involved vehicles going over 45mph
- Over 50% of all bicycle crashes happen from May through September
- 78% of bicycle crashes on weekdays, mostly between 3 pm and 6 pm
Always be aware of the risks and take care on the road, whether you’re a cyclist who is at significantly more risk of harm or a driver who isn’t aware of how much damage they could potentially cause.
Road safety tips to avoid a bicycle accident case
With the above stats in mind, here are some tips for both drivers and cyclists to be aware of to avoid an entirely preventable tragedy.
- Keep your focus on the road, be aware of vehicles ahead of you and including their blind spots and turning intentions
- Wear high-visibility clothing and equip your bicycle with a front white light and flashing red rear light
- Use hand signals to gesture turns even if your bicycle has signal lights
- Ensure your bike is well-maintained so that faulty brakes and tires don’t put you at more risk
- Always check your blind spots and mirrors
- Give more space when overtaking cyclists. North Carolina requires 4 feet of clearance
- Signal your intentions clearly, using your indicators, hazard warning lights, and brake lights
- Don’t let road rage blind you to the risk, accept a delay rather than a potential crash
- Dip your headlights at night when approaching cyclists to avoid blinding them
We all share the road. Even though cyclists bear a greater share of the risk, we all benefit from being more aware of the danger and potential liability.
Bicycle accident lawyers can help cyclists defend their rights
If you have been involved in a crash, bicycle accident lawyers can ensure your case is treated as seriously as it deserves to be. Get in touch with Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney PA for all your personal injury and bicycle accident lawyers services. Call (919) 683-2135 today or visit us online and complete the contact form to arrange your Free Case Evaluation.