The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2020, almost 39,000 bicyclists suffered injury in traffic accidents, and that there were 938 fatalities that resulted. Furthermore, 75% of bicycle accidents resulting in fatalities occurred in urban areas.

Dramatically outsized and out-powered, the fact is bikes are no match for vehicles on the roads. Whenever a bicyclist gets into an accident with a car or a truck, they almost always come out much worse for wear. Speed of the vehicle and perhaps angle of impact often help determine the severity of the injuries, but those injuries are quite often suffered by the bicyclist.

(What to Do When Bicycles and Cars Collide.)

What are the Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the common issues often contribute to bicycling accidents on the roads today include distracted driving, no follow traffic laws, lack of traffic awareness and alcohol or drug impairment.

Some other factors that are cited include roads with no separation between bicyclists and motorists, poor lighting and lack of road signage at intersections.

What are Some Common Ways to Reduce Risk of Bicycle Accidents?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposes key ways to reduce the risk of injury and fatality as a result of bicycle accidents. Those include: bicycle helmet laws that encourage helmet use; flourescent and reflective clothing; and bicycle lights (particularly when used at night).

When bicyclists are involved in traffic accidents and injuries result, the fact is either the motorist or the bicyclist can be blamed. Libility for such accidents, like other collisions on the roadways, is largely based on Illinois negligence laws. Both drivers and cyclists owe everyone they encounter on the roads a duty of care. That’s why it’s important to understand traffic laws and behave responsibly on the roads. If a motor vehicle driver is responislbe for the accident, they may be held liable for the cyclist’s injuries. 

Common causes of bicycle/vehicle accidents where the motorist is at fault include: a driver turning into a bicyclist’s path, vehicle driver or passenger opening a car door and hitting a bicyclist and not allowing enough room for the bicyclist when passing them.

Now, it’s also possible the bicyclist caused the accident. Bicylists are also resonsible for following the rules of the road. When they ride recklessly and cause an accident, they can be held responsible for damages. In addition to obeying traffic laws, bicyclists often have local bike safety laws they must follow. They may include helmet laws, bike lane laws and laws governing the use of bike lights and reflectors. Not observing these laws can hurt your cances of recovering damages in a personal injury lawsuit following an accident.

If you have questions about filing a personal injury claim in the wake of an accident, you need the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney who thoughly investigates your claim and can assess all of the damages you may be eligible to receive.  Call Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago at 773.881.9000 if you’d like to speak with an attorney about your claim. There is no cost for the initial case review and we never collect a fee unless we win damages for you.