Thanks to the beautiful warm year-round weather in California, this state has one of the largest populations of bicycle riders in the country. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a spike in the number of bicycle accidents in the state. This article will discuss some common causes of bicycle accidents.
According to one US News and World Report traffic accidents killed 455 cyclists in California between the years 2016 and 2018; this is according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “The ratio is now 3.9 bike accident fatalities per every 1 million people, this is the highest rate recorded over any three-year period since the mid-1990s. 516 cyclists died in traffic accidents from 2016 to 2018; which is a rate of 2.6 per 1 million people.”
This begs the question as to what is causing a spike in bicycle accidents? It is important to note that bicycle accidents happen on public roads as a result of many different factors and circumstances. However, bicycle accidents that appear to be the most common are those between bicyclists and vehicles. If you are involved in one, contact a Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney today. Data provided by the NHTSA stated that 96% of bicycle riders killed in the year 2017 were involved in a single-vehicle accident.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle and vehicle accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving – this is one of the most common causes of car accidents and this includes those involving bicycles. When using the term distracted driving it refers to anything or activity that draws the driver’s hands off the steering wheel, eyes away from the road and/or mind off driving. Any such distraction can result in a driver failing to take note of something critical, likely to happen or the change in road conditions that require immediate action in order to avoid an accident or incident. It must be noted though that being distracted is not limited to a vehicle driver, even bicyclists may become distracted and fail to pay attention to what is happening around them.
- Reckless driving – reckless driving or road rage are where a driver intentionally drives in a dangerous way. By such driving they not only endanger themselves but every other road user. This becomes even more dangerous when the recipient of such road rage is a cyclist and can quickly turn into a deadly situation. Some forms of road rage or aggression can be manifested in the following:
- excessive honking
- cutting someone off
- blocking the bike lane
- yelling or the use of inappropriate hand gestures
- Not yielding when necessary – it is important to note that bicycle riders are not second-class road citizens. Rather, they share the same rights as other road users including vehicle drivers. Therefore, when a vehicle driver fails to take note of other vehicles including bicycles this may result in an accident. In other scenarios, drivers may fail to yield to bicycles when entering an intersection, merging lanes, etc. All this results in collisions which are avoidable.