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Home > The Most Common Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them 

The Most Common Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them 

The Most Common Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them 

Cycling is not only a fantastic way to stay fit, but it’s also an eco-friendly mode of transportation. However, the roads can be perilous for cyclists, especially in Minneapolis. Bicycle accidents are unfortunately common and can result in severe injuries or even fatalities.

At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our Minneapolis bicycle accident lawyer, is here to explain some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents and steps you can take to avoid them. Additionally, we will provide information regarding steps you need to take following an accident.

The Prevalence of Bicycle Accidents in Minnesota

Although Minnesota is known for its bike-friendly culture, we still see our fair share of bicycle accidents. In 2022 alone, there were 481 people injured in bicycle accidents in the state, with many occurring in urban areas like Minneapolis. These accidents often lead to significant injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, and even spinal cord injuries. The impact on victims and their families can be devastating, both emotionally and financially.

The Most Common Bicycle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents occur for various reasons, often involving negligent motorists. Some of the most common bicycle accidents involve:

  • Failure to Yield: Drivers who do not yield to bicyclists greatly contribute to many accidents across our state. Not yielding to a bicyclist can result in a driver turning in front of the bicycle and causing a serious crash.
  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a significant issue today. Activities such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio can divert a driver’s attention, posing a serious threat to cyclists.
  • Right Turns in Front of Cyclists: Drivers making right turns may sometimes cut off cyclists who are proceeding straight through an intersection.
  • Opening Car Doors Without Checking: “Dooring” accidents, where a car door is opened into the path of a cyclist, are surprisingly common.
  • Unsafe Passing: Drivers who pass too closely to cyclists can cause serious accidents. Minnesota law mandates motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicycle; however, not all drivers follow this law, leading to life-altering collisions.
  • Ignoring Traffic Signals or Signs: Both drivers and cyclists must obey traffic signals and signs. Disregarding red lights or stop signs can result in dangerous collisions.
  • Sudden Stops: Abrupt stops by vehicles can catch cyclists off guard, leading to rear-end collisions.
  • Aggressive Driving: Behaviors such as tailgating, honking, or weaving through traffic create hazardous conditions for cyclists.

Factors Contributing to Bicycle Accidents

There are several factors commonly identified in bicycle accidents across Minneapolis and several steps you can take to decrease your chances of an accident.

Lack of Visibility

Poor visibility is a major factor in many bicycle accidents. Cyclists should always wear bright, reflective clothing and use lights, especially when riding at night or in low-light conditions. Making yourself as visible as possible can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

Poor Road Conditions

Uneven surfaces, broken roadways, and potholes can cause cyclists to lose control of their bikes. Always keep an eye on the road ahead and be ready to maneuver around obstacles. Reporting hazardous road conditions to local authorities can also help improve safety for all cyclists.

Failure to Signal Turns

Clear communication is essential for safe cycling. Always use hand signals to indicate turns or lane changes. This helps drivers and other cyclists understand your intentions and reduces the likelihood of accidents.

Weather Conditions

Inclement weather conditions can make roads slippery and reduce visibility, increasing the risk of accidents. Check the weather forecast before heading out and adjust your route or timing if necessary. Equip your bike with fenders and wear appropriate gear to stay safe when the weather is unfavorable.

Mechanical Issues

Regular maintenance of your bicycle is crucial for safe riding. Check your brakes, tires, and gears before each ride to ensure everything is in good working order. Addressing mechanical issues promptly can prevent accidents caused by equipment failure.

Drivers Who Are Under the Influence

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a significant danger to cyclists. Stay extra cautious during nights and weekends when impaired driving incidents are more common.

Drivers Who Are Speeding

Speeding drivers have less time to react, making it more difficult to avoid collisions with cyclists. Always be aware of your surroundings and try to ride in areas with lower speed limits or dedicated bike lanes. Advocacy for better infrastructure can also help create safer environments for cyclists.

What to Do if You’ve Been in a Bicycle Accident

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, taking the right steps to protect your rights and well-being is essential. First, seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine. Injuries may not be apparent right away. Next, report the accident to the police and gather as much information as possible, including witness statements and photos of the scene. Finally, contact a Minneapolis bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

The Role of Insurance in Bicycle Accidents

Insurance can play a crucial role in covering medical expenses and damages resulting from a bicycle accident. Bicycle accidents can lead to significant injuries, including fractures, head injuries, and road rash, all of which may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, there can be substantial damage to the bicycle itself and other personal property.

Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation through your own insurance policy or the at-fault driver’s insurance. For instance, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payment coverage, these can help cover your medical bills regardless of who was at fault. Conversely, if the driver is at fault, their liability insurance should cover your medical expenses and property damage.

Consulting with an injury attorney in Minnesota can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. An experienced injury attorney in Minnesota can assist in gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing you in court if necessary. They can also help clarify your rights and the various sources of compensation available to you, ensuring that all possible avenues for recovery are explored.

Contact Our Injury Attorney in Minneapolis

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, remember that help is available. Contact our Minneapolis bicycle accident lawyer at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation. Our team is here to support you and ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

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