Whether you ride your bicycle to work, to stay in shape, or just for fun, millions of Americans use their bicycles for various reasons. However, U.S. bicyclists need to be aware of the possible dangers associated with riding.
The following are the most common causes of bicycle accidents in the United States:
- Struck by a motor vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 30% of all bicycle accidents are caused by collisions with cars. Accidents involving vehicles often occur because the motorist failed to see a cyclist, the motorist or passenger opened the car door into an oncoming cyclist’s path, as well as drinking and driving. Most of these accidents result in catastrophic and fatal injuries.
- Falls. On the other hand, a majority of bicycle accidents occur because the cyclist simply fell. All bicyclists need to wear protective equipment – such as a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and gloves – prevent suffering injuries due to falls.
- The road not in good repair. Even a small crack on the road can cause bicyclists to lose their balance and cause them to fall over. Always keep an eye out for potholes, debris, and construction sites whenever you ride.
- Rider error. Sometimes, bicyclists can also be at fault for accidents and injuries. Avoid any sort of distractions, such as listening to music through headphones or texting while riding. Always have two hands on the handlebar and remain constantly aware of your surroundings. Furthermore, 37% of bicyclist deaths involved alcohol consumption.
- Crashed with fixed objects. There are many cases where the cyclists run into a fixed object, such as a sign post, wall, highway divider, and tree. Again, always be aware of your surroundings when you ride.
- Dog ran out. Man’s best friend can be a biker’s worst enemy. Four percent of all bicycle accidents are caused by our canine companions.