Taking Precautions by Understanding the Most Common Bike Accident Causes in the D.C. Area

Washington, D.C., bicycle accidents have gradually been increasing in number over the last few years, making the city one of the nation’s leaders among car crash statistics. Before heading out on a bike, it’s important to understand the most common causes of bike accidents in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C, so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent needless injuries from occurring.

5 Common Types of Bicycle Crashes

Crash Type # 1: The Right Crossing – This is the most common type of bicycle accident in Maryland, Virginia, and across the nation. As a bicyclist is riding down the road, another vehicle pulls out in front of the bike from the right side. Two types of collisions can happen. Either the car pulls out and strikes the cyclist from the side, or, the car pulls out and the cyclist collides with the driver’s side of the car.

Crash Type # 2: Car Door Collisions – These might not seem like that big of a problem, since the car is actually stationary at the time of the collision, but in truth, these collisions can be deadly. This type of accident occurs when a vehicle passenger opens up a door just before you pass by on a bicycle. Not only can the impact cause you to crash your bike, but it could also knock you off of you bicycle and into other moving traffic.

Crash Type #3: Crosswalk Accidents – These can be a significant problem, since cars turning at intersections can often have limited visibility from all directions due to other moving traffic, parked cars, street signs and crowds of pedestrians. This type of bike accident occurs when a cyclist is crossing at a crosswalk, and a driver makes a right-hand turn onto the road you’re crossing, running directly into you.

Crash Type # 4: Wrong-Way Accidents – Basic bicycle laws state that cyclists should never ride against traffic. It is always best to ride with the flow of traffic on the roadways. If a cyclist is riding in the wrong direction, cars making turns into a bike’s path may not always see the oncoming bicyclist approaching. Also, motorists traveling in the wrong direction can have a false sense of timing between the car and the bicycle. Because both are traveling toward each other, their distance apart decreases as a faster rate.

Crash Type # 5: Red light Dangers – Red lights at intersections can be very dangerous for cyclists. Most vehicles have blind spots that can prohibit drivers from seeing everything around them. If a cyclist pulls up next to a stopped car at an intersection, the car driver may not necessarily see the bike and its’ rider. This can be extremely dangerous if a motorist makes a right hand turn at the intersection during the red light.

It’s important that cyclists know the common causes of bicycle accident so that they can take appropriate measures to be proactive while riding. Doing so may prevent a serious Washington, D.C. bike crash from happening.

If you’ve been injured during a bicycle collision, the experienced legal team at Lewis & Tompkins will help you understand your rights, and may be able to get the compensation you deserve. After all, negligent parties should be help accountable for their destructive choices on the road. Call our personal injury law office today at 202-296-0666 to schedule your free case evaluation.

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