Where do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?
Bicycle accidents can be terrifying experiences for those involved. Regardless of whether or not you are a regular bicycle rider or just an occasional recreation rider, the last thing you expect is that you will be harmed due to the negligence of another driver. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are not uncommon. When we examine where most bicycle accidents occur, we can see some patterns and trends. Here, we want to take a look at where bicycle accidents happen so that you can take preventative steps to stay safe when you are on the roadway, either as a driver or as a bicyclist.
Common Bicycle Crash Areas
It should come as no surprise that there are certain areas more dangerous to bicyclists than others. A study published in American Family Physician states that most vehicle accidents occur on the roadway. That makes complete sense. Roadways are the areas where bicyclists tend to operate around other large vehicles the most. However, the reality is that most drivers do not understand that they have to share the roadway with bicyclists. Illinois law typically finds that bicycles are considered vehicles, with the exception of certain areas such as major highways.
Some of the most common areas in and around the roadway where bicyclists are involved in crashes most often include the following:
- Intersections. Intersections are dangerous for everyone on the roadway, including bicyclists. This is where drivers, bicyclists, large trucks, and pedestrians all converge trying to do something different. If a bicyclist is trying to go through an intersection when they have the right of way, they could be struck by another driver who makes a decision to turn. If a bicyclist has to make a turn at an intersection, other drivers could fail to yield the right of way and plow right through the intersection at a high rate of speed.
- Driveways. Believe it or not, the area where a driveway converges with a street is incredibly dangerous for bicyclists. Many people do not pay much attention when they are backing their car out of their own driveway, and this could lead to deadly collisions with bicyclists.
- Parking lots. Parking lots are confusing areas for most people. When a bicyclist has to get through a parking lot, they often have to contend with drivers looking for a parking place, those backing out of parking places, and just general angry drivers.
- Straight stretches of road. On the open roadway, bicyclists still face many risks. Often, vehicle drivers follow bicyclists too closely, which could result in deadly rear-end collisions if a bicyclist has to stop quickly. Additionally, drivers often pass by cyclists too closely, which can lead to sideswipe incidents that push a bicyclist off the roadway.
The Rural-Urban Divide for Illinois Bicycle Accidents
When we examine data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that there is a significant difference between how many bicycle crashes occur each year in urban areas of the state and how many occur in rural areas of the state.
During the latest reporting year in Illinois, there were 2,353 total bicyclist injuries and 12 bicyclist fatalities in urban areas of the state. However, when we look at rural areas of the state, we can see that there were only 12 bicyclist injuries and no bicyclist fatalities.
This data reveals that bicycle accidents are much more likely to occur in areas where more people and vehicles are crowded together. If you were hit by a vehicle while on your bike, contact our bike accident lawyers today.