The Major Causes of Bike Accidents
Cities all over the country continue to push for more bike riding through their streets. This makes sense, of course. Bikes are emission-free and clear the roads of traffic. They’re also pleasant: pleasant to ride, pleasant to see others ride. They feel quaint and friendly, which is great for tourism and also for the overall feeling of the city for the citizens who live there.
It would seem, then, that there’s not much of a downside to the increasing use of bikes and cities encouraging the trend, and that would be true, except for the increased risk of accidents that come with it.
The more people bike, the more accidents there will be, of course, but that hides the fact that biking, by its nature, is more dangerous. Bikes, after all, ride next to cars, not in the safer space on the sidewalk. They are faster than walking, harder to stop than feet (when they accidentally slide into intersections), and less stable. They leave the rider exposed to danger, unlike a car. The increased risk is obvious.
To help alleviate some of the risks, here are the five most common accidents for bikes, so everyone can learn to watch out.
- Not paying attention
This goes for all parties. Whether it’s the biker who isn’t watching where they’re going, the pedestrian who crosses right in front of them, or the car that doesn’t notice the bike at all, someone isn’t paying attention to what they’re doing, and that leads to an accident.
Again, this can be true for any party, whether it’s the bike speeding down the street that can’t stop or a car.
- Riding too close to vehicles
Sometimes, despite the best efforts of city-planners, bike lanes are too small and they end up pushing the bikers right up against traffic. With too little space to maneuver, the slightest mistake by the rider or the driver next to them can lead to a serious issue.
As you would expect, intersections are a major problem for bikers. There’s a lot of traffic going all sorts of directions, which can lead to problems. Think of all the cars that rush through yellow lights trying to beat the red. Then think of the bikes that get a quick start on the light. The problems are obvious.
There’s a reason bikes are usually not allowed on sidewalks. Sidewalks are full of obstacles that are hard for bikes to avoid. There are pedestrians, fire hydrants, store doors that open suddenly, and many other potential hazards. That makes it hard for a bike to stay steady.
Bike accidents are an unfortunate commonality of city life these days, and the accidents can be serious. According to the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., bike accidents can lead to:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Heavy bruising
- Skin infections
- Spinal injuries
If we’re all going to be riding more bikes, more needs to be done to reduce the risk of the above accidents.