If you understand bicycle accidents and the safety tips associated with them, you will hopefully be able to avoid a collision altogether.
When two cars get into an accident, there is a broad range of outcomes. Often, crashes are at relatively low speeds, nobody gets hurt, and vehicle damage is minimal. On the other hand, St. Louis bicycle accidents are very often severe. While the person in the vehicle is usually safe from harm, the cyclist is likely to sustain a severe injury. This leads to more complicated personal injury cases with higher stakes. Ideally, if you understand bicycle collisions and the safety tips associated with them, you might be able to avoid a collision altogether.
Below, we list some relevant statistics regarding bicycle collisions. Each of them comes from the NHTSA 2016 Traffic Safety Facts report.
Frequency – While fatalities from bicycle collisions are relatively uncommon, they still happen every day. In fact, the NHTSA found that these crashes caused 840 deaths in 2016 alone.
Location – As you might imagine, the majority of bicycle collisions happen in urban areas. The official breakdown is 71% urban and 29% rural. This makes sense, as cities feature more bicyclists, drivers, and dangerous driving behavior.
Timing – The NHTSA reports that the most fatalities happen between 6:00-9:00 PM. There are two reasons for this. First, it is dark for part of this time range, which decreases visibility. Second, this is a prime commuting time, which means there are more cars on the road.
The following are two critical behavioral tweaks you can make to increase your chances of avoiding an accident.
Don’t Multitask – The best way to avoid collisions is by giving the road your full attention. When you take your eyes off of the road, you increase your chances of hitting bicyclists and other cars.
Check Your Blind Spot – One of the most common ways vehicles hit bikes is when the bicyclist is in the driver’s blind spot. This often happens when a driver is taking a right turn and ends up unknowingly swerving into the rider.
You might think that because a car is much larger and a cyclist is more likely to get injured, liability is always placed on the driver. This is not the case. Bicycles are considered a vehicle, and thus have to follow the rules of the road. Just like if you get into an accident with another car, if the cyclist is breaking the law or being excessively careless, under some circumstances they could be found liable.
If you were on a bicycle and were hit by a car, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation.