According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, 5,364 crashes have happened between bicycles and motor vehicles between 2000 and 2019. These crashes resulted in 36 deaths and many more injuries. Here are a few of the most common types of bicycle crashes, and how lawyers are able to prove who is at-fault.
Bicycle Accident Causes
An accident between a motor vehicle and bicycle will almost certainly produce injuries due to the differences between vehicles and bicycles.
Weight difference: A typical bicycle on the street weighs between 25-35 pounds. A car on the other hand can on average weigh about 4,000 pounds. In the event of a collision, a bicycle is guaranteed to lose.
Lack of protection: Bicyclists don’t have any areas of protection other than their safety helmets. Vehicles on the other hand are surrounded by tons of steel that will protect them in a crash. A bicyclist’s best safeguard against injury is a plastic helmet. A bicycle helmet helps reduce the fatality rate by over 75%, but doesn’t do any good at protecting against non-fatal head injuries or injuries to other areas of the body.
Differences in speed: Vehicles travel at much faster rates than bicyclists. The amount of energy that an object holds depends on its weight and speed. A car has a much higher energy than a bike due to its speed. This is the reason why bicyclists are nearly always the ones injured in a collision with a motor vehicle.
Factors That Can Lead to Injury
Improper awareness: Bicyclists are much smaller and harder to spot than a vehicle especially if the driver is distracted, intoxicated, or driving recklessly. A lot of bicycle deaths occur in urban areas where there are more distractions present.
Environmental: A large majority of bicycle crashes happen between the hours of 5p.m and 9p.m due to the traffic being heavier and the sun going down.
Bicyclists age: Although child bicyclists deaths have declined over the last several years, deaths among 20 year old bicyclists has nearly tripled since 1975.
Crashes at Intersections
Typically, bicyclists are involved in two types of intersection crashes:
Right-turn collisions: When the bicyclist is riding towards the intersection along the curb or shoulder, a car turning right can strike the bicyclist and send them flying over the top of the car.
Left-turn collisions: When the bicyclist is riding straight through an intersection, if a car is turning left they can strike the bicyclist.
These collisions can be caused due to a wide variety of reasons, but the most common is improper area checks or a judgment in distance. Bikes are a lot smaller than vehicles and can easily blend into the surrounding areas. It can be hard to judge the distance or speed of a bicycle so crashes can happen if a car attempts to beat them through the intersection.
Bicycle Accident Liability
The person at-fault for any vehicle accident is based upon the negligence of each person involved in the accident. To establish negligence, a car crash lawyer needs to prove the following:
- Breach of duty
Crashes happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s always your fault. When you’re dealing with a personal injury lawsuit, you need skilled lawyers who can help you throughout the whole process. Our firm has been serving the needs of accident victims and their families since 1962, and we can help you recover the compensation you need from the parties responsible for your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact us today. We advocate for clients throughout Nebraska from our base in Lincoln.
An initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you get paid.