With the weather getting warmer, many more people will be riding their bicycles on North Carolina roads. Although biking is a great transportation and exercise option, it can also be dangerous. If you don’t ride defensively, you risk getting in an accident.
Here are some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents.
Dangerous Lane Changes
Sometimes it is necessary for motorists to change lanes. However, if they do this carelessly, they risk hitting a bicyclist. For example, if a motorist who wants to merge into the right lane does not check to see if it is clear, he or she may miss a bicyclist and cause an accident.
A dooring accident occurs when a person parks a vehicle along the road and opens his or her door without looking. A bicyclist who is moving at a high speed might not have time to stop and crash into the door, suffering various injuries.
Many bicycle accidents result from speeding motorists. If motorists are driving above the speed limit, they have less time to slow down for bicyclists. Both high-speed and low-speed crashes can cause bicyclists severe injuries.
Inattentiveness, whether riding a bicycle or driving a car, can cause a bicycle accident. Both bicyclists and motorists face several distractions on the road, from texting on a smartphone to daydreaming. If they take their eyes or attention off the road for just a second, they are in danger of getting into an accident.
Failing to Stop at Stop Signs and Stop Lights
Bicyclists are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists, including making full stops at stop signs and stoplights. If they fail to do this, accidents are more likely to happen. For example, if a bicyclist blows past a stop sign, a vehicle coming from another direction can hit him or her.
Riding Too Closely to Bicyclists
Motorists are supposed to give bicyclists some space when in the same lane. Unfortunately, not all motorists follow this rule. That is why bicyclists should never assume that motorists will give them adequate space to operate their bikes. It may be safer for bicyclists to use the shoulder lane.