Bicyclists face significant challenges when they operate on or around the roadway. Unfortunately, drivers often operate carelessly around bikes, which can lead to accidents and major injuries. Here, our team of experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyers examine some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Arizona, as well as the importance of pursuing an insurance or injury claim promptly after a crash caused by another driver.
What Causes Bicycle Accident Incidents?
In 2021, there were 48 bicyclists killed in accidents on Arizona roadways. Additionally, there were 1,128 bicyclist injuries caused by accidents that same year. Understanding the causes of these accidents can help drivers and bicyclists understand potential hazards and allow them to take steps to create safer roadways. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
1. Distracted driving
Various types of distracted driving behaviors are dangerous for bicyclists on the roadway. If drivers are distracted by their phones, other people in their vehicles, pets, or when eating or drinking behind the wheel, they are much less likely to see a cyclist.
2. Failing to leave a buffer zone
Drivers are typically required to leave approximately 3 feet of space between themselves and a bicyclist when passing them. Failing to leave this amount of space could result in the driver sideswiping or rear-ending the bicyclist. Additionally, if a driver is following a bicyclist who is going the appropriate speed limit, they should not try to pass them and should follow them from a safe distance as they would any other vehicle.
Speeding is a leading cause of any type of vehicle accident in Arizona, including accidents involving bicycles. Maintain the proper speed limit at all times and even go below the speed limit when operating around bicyclists, especially if the riders are children.
4. Turning without looking
It is not uncommon for drivers to turn or make lane changes without checking their mirrors or their blind spots. This is even more detrimental to bicyclists who are much smaller than other vehicles on the roadway. Drivers should always look before they turn in order to avoid accidents.
5. Running stop signs or stop lights
When drivers run stop signs or stop lights, this significantly increases the chance that they will strike a bicyclist who has the right of way through an intersection.
6. Failing to yield the right of way
Drivers are required to yield the right of way to bicycles just like they are any other vehicle on the roadway. This includes yielding the right of way on regular roadways as well as in bicycle lanes.
7. Impaired driving
Impaired driving is also a leading cause of injury and fatal accidents in Arizona. Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors and injure bicyclists.
Working With a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Phoenix
If you or somebody you love was in a bicycle accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver, we encourage you to reach out to a lawyer today. When you have a Phoenix bicycle accident attorney by your side, you will have an advocate ready to investigate every aspect of your claim and help you recover compensation for your losses. This compensation can include coverage of medical expenses, lost income, property damage bills, and pain and suffering damages.