What Percent of Bicycle Accidents Involve an Automobile?

Bicycle accidents are not uncommon on the roadways of Illinois and throughout the United States. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve collisions with heavier motor vehicles. The human body is not meant to withstand the impact of a collision with a vehicle, at least not without sustaining some sort of injury.

What Percent of Bicycle Accidents Involve an Automobile?

But how many bicycle accidents involve automobiles?

Here, we want to examine some bicycle accident statistics from Illinois and from around the US. With this information, we hope that you will make informed decisions about the steps you need to take to stay safe on the roadway.

We Have Limited Data for Non-Vehicle-Involved Bicycle Crashes

When trying to determine the percentage of bicycle accidents that involve vehicles, we have to understand that not every single bicycle accident that occurs is reported to the police or the Department of Transportation. In fact, we really do not know how many bicycle accidents occur each year unless the incidents involve a collision with a vehicle.

The simple fact is that bicycle crashes that do not involve vehicle collisions will likely not be reported to the police, and they will certainly not be recorded on any DOT fact sheet. For severe non-vehicle bicycle crashes, typically only first responders will come to the scene and take a victim to the hospital.

The data that we do have about bicycle accidents in Illinois and throughout the US is typically the data pertaining to a bicycle versus vehicle accidents. When we look at the information provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that there were more than 2,300 total bicyclist injuries during the latest reporting year across the state. Additionally, 12 bicyclists lost their lives during the same year.

Data provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that there were 846 bicyclist fatalities during the most recent reporting year across the US. Data at both the state and federal levels indicate that bicyclists in urban areas face a much higher risk of being involved in collisions with vehicles than those in urban areas.

Other Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Illinois

Even though we do not have comprehensive data about how many bicycle accidents occur that do not involve vehicles, we still know that these accidents occur. Some of the other common ways that bicycle accidents occur in Illinois include the following:

  • Collisions with stationary objects on or off the roadway
  • Bicycle versus bicycle collisions
  • Accidents involving bicycles and pedestrians
  • Crashes caused by poor roadway maintenance
  • Crashes caused by bicyclist inattention
  • Accidents caused by inclement weather

Bicycle Versus Vehicle Accidents Cause Severe Injuries

Regardless of what kind of data we have, we do know those bicycle accidents involving vehicles typically result in much more severe injuries than non-vehicle-involved bicycle crashes. The simple truth is that the average passenger vehicle weighs around 4,000 pounds, and the human body is not meant to withstand this type of impact. It is not uncommon for bicyclists to sustain broken or dislocated bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal damage, and more when they are involved in vehicle collisions. If you were hit by a car, you should contact a bicycle accident lawyer to see what options you have for recovery and compensation.