Cycling is a fantastic way to stay active and commute, but it’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks involved. Bicycle accidents can happen for various reasons, and understanding the different types can help cyclists and drivers alike stay safe on the road. Below, we discuss the various types of cycling accidents that can occur, as well as a few safety tips.

Collisions with Motor Vehicles

Many cyclists are injured in accidents involving motor vehicles:

  • Left-turn crashes. These occur when a motorist turning left fails to yield to a bicyclist traveling straight through the intersection. This is one of the most common types of bicycle accidents and frequently occurs because the driver fails to check traffic traveling down a bicycle lane.
  • Right-hook crashes. These happen when a motorist turning right collides with a cyclist traveling alongside them, often due to the driver not checking their blind spot.
  • Dooring accident. These occur when a parked car door opens directly into the path of a cyclist, causing them to swerve or collide with the door. When traveling on smaller streets or beside parked vehicles, bicyclists should be cautious and try to assess whether people are leaving cars in their paths.
  • Rear-end crashes. Similar to car accidents, these happen when a motorist following a cyclist fails to stop in time and collides with the back of the bicycle.
  • Sideswipe accidents. These occur when a motorist and cyclist traveling in the same direction come into contact, often due to improper lane positioning or unsafe passing attempts.
  • Right of way issues. Drivers and bicyclists alike may not adhere to the rules of the road or may err when it comes to the right of way when traveling, which can lead to accidents.

Single-Cyclist Accidents

A cyclist may lose control of their bike due to negligent conditions like road hazards. Potholes, debris, or uneven pavement can cause cyclists to lose control and fall. However, these accidents can also happen because of:

  • Mechanical failure. Bike malfunctions like brake or tire issues can lead to accidents.
  • Distracted riding. Using a phone, listening to music, or not paying attention to the surroundings can lead to accidents.
  • Animal encounters. Animals, such as dogs, can cause cyclists to swerve or lose control if they run out onto a path or street.

Bicycles Accidents Involving Pedestrians & Other Cyclists

While both cyclists and pedestrians benefit from shared paths and urban environments, these spaces can also be the scene of accidents. Common causes include:

  • inattentiveness by either party, such as using headphones or phones;
  • unclear signage or confusing lane markings;
  • pedestrians stepping unexpectedly onto a bike path;
  • cyclists riding too fast for the conditions; and
  • simply overcrowded paths that don’t provide enough space for safe maneuvering.

General Safety Tips for Cyclists

Here are some tips concerning how to stay safe as a bicyclist:

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet that meets safety standards.
  • Inspect your bike to make sure it is in good working condition.
  • Plan your route and choose a route that is appropriate for your skill level.
  • Follow the rules of the road as if you were in a car.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Use hand signals to indicate your turns and stops.
  • Use lights and reflectors if you are riding at night or in low-light conditions.
  • Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night to make yourself more visible to motorists.
  • Ride with one hand on the handlebars at all times so that you can brake or swerve if necessary.
  • Be aware of road hazards such as potholes, cracks, and debris.
  • Avoid riding in bad weather if possible.
  • Carry a repair kit with you in case of a flat tire or other mechanical problem.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Take a cycling safety course to learn more about how to ride safely in different conditions.
To learn more about staying safe as a cyclist, read our blog, “How Can Bicyclists Stay Safe.”

Involved in a Bicycle Accident? We Are Here to Help!

At Koenigsberg & Associates, we can help you determine fault, establish liability, calculate your damages, and pursue a personal injury case should you suffer injuries in a negligence-related bike accident.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can help you. Call (718) 690-3132.