Both cyclists and drivers can cause accidents between bikes and cars. That said, cyclists are clearly in more danger of getting injured, no matter who causes the crash, and studies have repeatedly found that it’s more common for drivers to cause accidents than cyclists. It could be that cyclists, knowing how exposed they are to injury, are just more careful.
Regardless of the reasons why this is true, it’s a fact every cyclist needs to take seriously. Every ride is a chance to get injured. To help inform riders and drivers, here are the three main types of accidents drivers cause:
The driver simply does not see the bike
Bikes are small and much harder to spot than cars. Even with lights and reflectors, many accidents happen because drivers have no idea the bike is even there until they hit it. For instance, a cyclist could be riding in the bike lane next to the road and get hit when a driver merges over to make a right turn.
The driver does see the bike, but then makes a judgment error
Spotting the bike is the first step, but drivers can still make mistakes. For example, a driver who is turning left may underestimate how fast a cyclist is moving and turn in front of them. The driver thinks they have plenty of space, but then the cyclist hits the side of the car.
The driver runs into the bike intentionally
This is the rarest type of accident out of these three, but it does happen. Perhaps most common is an accident where a driver feels that a cyclist is too slow and/or blocking their lane. This can lead to road rage and aggressive driving. In the most severe cases, an intentional crash is the end result.
What can you do after an accident?
Have you been injured in an accident while riding your bike? Maybe it happened in one of the three ways noted above. If so, make sure you know how to seek financial compensation to cover medical bills and related costs.