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What are the most common causes of bicycle-car accidents?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Bicycle Accidents

In the urban space where bicycles and cars frequently share the road, understanding the causes of bicycle-car accidents is paramount to improving road safety for all users.

While both cyclists and motorists bear responsibility for preventing accidents, certain factors contribute significantly to these incidents that may implicate one over the other as circumstances unfold.

Lack of visibility

Poor visibility stands as one of the primary catalysts for bicycle-car collisions. In many cases, motorists fail to notice cyclists, particularly during low-light conditions or when cyclists are positioned in blind spots. Cyclists might not be easily visible to drivers, especially if they are not wearing reflective gear while riding in poorly lit areas. Enhancing visibility by wearing reflective clothing and using the bicycle lanes can mitigate this risk.

Failure to obey traffic laws

Both cyclists and motorists must adhere to traffic laws to help ensure safety on the road. Running red lights, ignoring stop signs and disregarding right-of-way rules are common infractions that lead to accidents. Cyclists weaving in and out of traffic unpredictably and motorists speeding or making abrupt turns without signaling may also contribute to collisions.

Distracted driving and riding

Distracted driving has become a prevalent issue with the widespread use of smartphones and other electronic devices. Motorists who multitask while behind the wheel are less likely to notice cyclists sharing the road. Similarly, cyclists using headphones, talking on the phone or texting while riding are at an increased risk of accidents due to reduced spatial awareness.

Unsafe passing and overtaking

Unsafe passing maneuvers by motorists and cyclists pose a significant risk to road safety. Motorists overtaking cyclists without leaving sufficient space or cutting them off while making turns can lead to collisions. Similarly, cyclists passing vehicles on the right or weaving between lanes without signaling increase the likelihood of accidents.

Bicycle-car accidents are often the result of various factors, including, but not limited to, lack of visibility, failure to obey traffic laws, distracted driving and riding and unsafe passing maneuvers. Cyclists and motorists can benefit from being more accommodating of each other when sharing the roads to minimize the risk of these collisions.