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Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?


Bicycle accidents are a pressing concern in the United States, with statistics showing a significant number of fatalities and injuries each year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2021, 961 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. This, coupled with over 130,000 injuries occurring on U.S. roads every year, underscores the severity of the issue.

Common Areas Where Bicycle Accidents Occur

Most bicycle accidents occur in urban areas, such as:

  • Intersections. Intersections are hotspots for bicycle accidents, often due to the complexity of traffic movements and the failure of drivers to yield the right of way to cyclists. For example, a cyclist might be hit by a vehicle turning right that fails to check for cyclists in their blind spot.
  • Busy Streets. Busy streets, particularly in urban areas, also pose a high risk to cyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urban areas are the location for almost 75% of all fatalities involving bicyclists. Factors such as high traffic volumes, parked cars, and narrow lanes can contribute to this risk.
  • Roadsides. Bicycle accidents on roadsides can occur due to a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is unsafe lane changes by motorists. Often, drivers fail to check for cyclists when switching lanes or making turns, leading to collisions with unsuspecting bicyclists. Another frequent cause is inattentive driving, such as using cell phones behind the wheel or not keeping a safe distance from bike lanes and shoulders.
  • Sidewalks. Bicycle accidents often occur on sidewalks due to a multitude of reasons. Cyclists tend to use sidewalks as a perceived safe haven from vehicular traffic; however, this can lead to unpredictable situations. Pedestrians, for instance, are not typically on the lookout for fast-moving bicycles. As a result, sudden pedestrian movements can surprise cyclists, leading to collisions. Sidewalks are also fraught with other hazards, such as uneven surfaces, driveways, and curb ramps, which can cause cyclists to lose balance or control. Furthermore, at intersections or driveways, drivers may not anticipate a cyclist emerging from the sidewalk, leading to potential accidents.

What Time of Day Do Most Bike Accidents Occur?

According to NHTSA, more than half (56%) of bicycle accident fatalities occur during dawn, dusk, and night-time conditions. Bicyclists also often get into accidents between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. during the weekdays and weekends.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists

Given the risks associated with cycling, it's important for cyclists to take steps to protect themselves. Here are some practical tips:

  • Wear protective gear. You should always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as reflective clothing, to increase visibility.
  • Use bike lanes. Wherever possible, use bike lanes. They are designed to give cyclists a safe space to ride, separate from motor vehicle traffic.
  • Follow traffic laws. Bicyclists are required to follow the same road rules as drivers. These include halting at stop signs and red signals, indicating turns, and giving way to pedestrians.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Maintain vigilance for vehicles, pedestrians, and possible dangers. Refrain from distractions such as using your phone or listening to music while on your bike.
  • Prioritize safety over speed. While it may be tempting to race through traffic, safety should always come first. Maintain a safe speed and distance from vehicles, and never assume a driver has seen you.

Call (516) 628-6402 to Talk with Our Attorney

The Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli is committed to providing our clients with quality service. Should you or a loved one be injured in a bicycle accident, you can trust our firm with your case. Backed by extensive legal experience and a long history of successful cases, we can help you establish liability, collect evidence, negotiate or litigate your case, and have more peace of mind.

Reach out to us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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