According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130,000 bicyclists are injured and almost 1,000 die in road crashes each year in the U.S. alone.
Let’s take a closer look at what the leading causes of bicycle accidents are, followed by some useful information about what to do if you are knocked off your bicycle.
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Recklessness is a major cause of bicycle accidents, which encompasses all forms of careless behaviors by cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicle drivers. Not adhering to traffic rules, such as speeding, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and not looking for oncoming traffic, are just some examples of recklessness.
Lack of visibility can lead to bicycle accidents, especially at night. Cyclists may not be visible to motorists while on the road and this could lead to collisions. Wearing reflective clothing and using lights on your bicycle can help mitigate this problem.
Poorly maintained roads are another prominent cause of accidents involving bicycles. Potholes, cracks, loose gravel, and any unexpected obstacles could destabilize a cyclist and lead to an accident.
Distraction from mobile devices is one chief cause of many accidents these days, including those involving bicycles. For both riders and drivers alike, taking your eyes off the road even for a second could end tragically.
Bad weather conditions are not friendly toward bicycle riders. Wet, icy, or windy conditions significantly increase the risk of losing control over a bicycle.
Bicycle accidents can also stem from equipment failure. Faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or malfunctioning lights, for example, may cause a cyclist to lose control and get involved in an accident.
Bicycle accidents can be stressful, scary, and even traumatic. It is important that you know the immediate actions you should take if you are ever knocked off your bicycle.
Your priority should be your safety. Move to a safer location away from traffic if possible. Avoid moving extensively if you are severely injured.
Contact medical services as soon as possible, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not present immediate symptoms but could have serious long-term effects.
Notify the authorities immediately about the accident. This helps in creating an official record of the event, which could be critical if legal action becomes necessary.
Take pictures or videos of your injuries and the accident scene if you can do so safely. Collect contact details from witnesses too, as they can provide key evidence for your case.
Notify your insurance company about the accident promptly, but avoid going into too much detail while still shaken or under medication, which may confuse you.
Finally, get in touch with a local personal injury lawyer who specializes in bicycle accidents. For example, if you are based in Texas, this personal injury attorney in Houston has a wealth of experience regarding accidents involving bicycles.
The expertise of an experienced attorney in navigating the complex waters of personal injury law will be vital. They can assess your case, guide you through the process, and fight for your rights to fair compensation, which could include receiving damages to cover costs like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
By being aware of the leading causes of bicycle accidents, you can take preventive measures to lessen your risk when riding on roads. For instance, you should wear reflective clothing so that you are visible to vehicles and never use your cell phone while riding. You could even upgrade to a safer electric bike or trike.
However, if you are injured in a bicycle accident that is not your fault, you at least have the opportunity to seek compensation.