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What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

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    The most common causes of bicycle accidents vary depending on the location of the accident. For instance, rural bicycle crashes look different from urban crashes, and the factors contributing to these accidents reflect this. But no matter how the crash occurred, negligence is often at the root of these accidents.

    Differences in Rural and Urban Bicycle Crashes

    Rural and urban bicycle accidents happen differently. Here is what the data tells us about the common causes of bicycle crashes.

    Common Circumstances of Rural Bicycle Accidents

    According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rural bicycle accidents are often caused by “bicyclists turning/merging into the path of the driver and drivers overtaking the bicyclist.” These crashes often occur mid-block instead of at an intersection.

    Common Circumstances of Urban Bicycle Accidents

    On the other hand, urban bicycle crashes are more likely to involve “drivers failing to yield, bicyclists failing to yield, mid-block, and bicyclists failing to yield at the intersection.” Urban crashes were also more likely to occur at intersections than rural crashes.

    Similarities in Urban and Rural Bicycle Accident Circumstances

    For both urban and rural bicycle crashes, the data shows the negligent drivers often drive after drinking alcohol. Also, vehicles traveling at high speed often contribute to serious and fatal bicycle accidents. Low visibility at night and increased traffic at rush hour can also contribute to bicycle accidents.

    Negligence Causes Bicycle Accidents

    Underlying this data is the fact that these crashes are often rooted in negligence. According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Negligence can be an act or a failure to act that causes your accident and your injuries.

    Common Forms of Negligent Driving

    Several types of negligent driving often contribute to traffic accidents, including bicycle accidents.

    • Drunk or drug-impaired driving: Drivers under the influence have dulled reflexes, senses, and decision-making skills, making it difficult to see and respond to a bicyclist in time.
    • Drowsy driving: Drowsy drivers may have dulled senses and reflexes and may even fall asleep behind the wheel.
    • Distracted driving: This includes anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, allowing them to miss a bicycle before it is too late to prevent an accident. Some common distractions include:
      • Cell phones
      • Radios
      • Maps
      • Food
      • Passengers’ disturbances
    • Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving may include the following.
      • Speeding
      • Weaving in and out of lanes
      • Improperly merging or turning
      • Tailgating
      • Ignoring traffic signals
      • Road rage behaviors

    Holding the Negligent Party Responsible

    If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligent acts or omissions of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer from Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can help you pursue compensation through a lawsuit to win damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and “pain and suffering” and inconvenience.

    Accidents That Concern Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Drivers are not the only parties who can be held liable for their negligence. If you were struck by another bicycle or were a pedestrian struck by a bicycle, you can sue the cyclist for your resulting injuries.

    Your lawyer will investigate your accident to find out what factors contributed to your accident that might have involved:

    • A bicycle and you as a pedestrian
    • A bicycle and your motor vehicle
    • Your bicycle and another bicycle

    Then, they will determine if a cyclist’s negligent acts or omissions can serve as a basis for a lawsuit to win compensation for you.

    Parrish Law Firm, PLLC will Help You Stay Within the Statute of Limitations

    According to Va. Code §8.01-243 and Va. Code §8.01-244, the statute of limitations on bringing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia is generally two years from the time of the accident.

    There may be circumstances that lengthen or shorten this period, such as when you discovered your injury or if you are suing the government for their negligence. Your bicycle accident lawyer will be able to give you a better idea of how and if these circumstances affect you after taking a look at your case.

    Parrish Law Firm, PLLC will Fight for Your Rights

    To get started and to receive your free consultation, call Parrish Law Firm, PLLC today at (571) 229-1800. We can also talk about the most common causes of bicycle accidents and how your case might be a part of these occurrences.

    You might not know about certain aspects of Virginia law and what you are entitled to as a victim. However, our team will answer your questions and stand by your side until the conclusion of your case. We will speak to you about how you came to be injured and hunt down evidence that affirms your testimony. We will then use this to seek your financial award.

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