North Carolina Bicycle Accidents: Common Causes and Injuries

Correctly establishing the cause of your North Carolina bicycle accident is a crucial part of recovering financial compensation for your damages. Regardless of whether your accident was the result of a driver’s recklessness or negligence, a hazardous roadway, or some combination of the two, it is essential that all liable parties be brought to account. 

What type of rider is most likely to be hurt in a bike accident?

There are numerous variables in a North Carolina bicycle accident case that could influence the outcome. To avoid jeopardizing your injury claim, reach out to the North Carolina bike accident attorneys at the law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We offer a free consultation to all prospective clients. Call us today to schedule yours.  

What Is the Most Common Cause of Bicycle Accidents?

Bike accidents involving motor vehicles share most of the same causes as two-vehicle accidents. Distracted driving is a leading cause, as are fatigued driving and drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted research that indicates the leading causes of bike accidents and related injuries are

  • Being struck by a car: 29%
  • Falling off a bike: 17%
  • Poor roadway conditions: 13%
  • Rider distraction/Rider error: 13%
  • Colliding with a fixed object: 7%
  • Avoiding an animal: 4%

While there are many different kinds of bicycle accidents, the most common involves being hit by a vehicle, which is also the most dangerous. The distinctions between a bicycle and a vehicle in terms of speed, weight, and impact resistance are overwhelming. When a person is struck by a moving automobile, the consequences can be life-changing or even fatal injuries. A single act of negligence can rob a person of their future, or deprive a family of someone they loved and relied on.

If you were seriously injured in a bike accident, you are probably entitled to financial compensation for your medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering.  

What Are the Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?

The American Academy of Family Physicians published an article showing the most common bicycle accident injuries. They include:

  • Injuries to extremities: This includes strains, road rash, and broken legs, arms, feet, hands, toes, and fingers.
  • Head and facial trauma: Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and disfiguring lacerations are some common injuries experienced by riders.
  • Abdominal injuries: These injuries often involve broken ribs, damage to internal organs, and even impalement. 

Even a minor bike accident can leave victims with injuries that are extremely painful and expensive to treat. For instance, an avulsion injury, more commonly known as road rash, can vary from a superficial abrasion to asphalt, glass, and rocks deeply embedded in the skin. If a serious avulsion injury is left untreated, it could result in traumatic tattooing. 

Severe injuries to the extremities can cause long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent the victim from earning a living and participating in activities they once enjoyed. Damage to the spinal cord or a traumatic brain injury might require a lifetime of medical care.

Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Happen?

Data that was published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reveals that the majority of bike accidents take place:

  • In metropolitan areas: 80% of all fatal bicycle accidents occur in metropolitan areas. Only 20% take place in rural areas. 
  • On the open road: 63% of fatal bike accidents take place on the open road at high rates of speed. Only 37% take place in intersections or designated bike lanes.  
  • In the evening: No matter what the season is, the majority of bicycle fatalities happen from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Male cyclists are four times more prone to being injured and seven times more likely to be killed than their female counterparts. Riders who are between 50 and 59 years old have the highest fatality rate while riders who are 19 and younger have the highest rate of non-fatal injuries.  

Talk to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, you should talk to an experienced North Carolina bicycle accident lawyer. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you could be entitled to a significant amount of financial compensation.  

At the personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we can walk you through the claims process and advise you on what your next steps should be. Schedule a free review of your injury claim with our North Carolina bike accident lawyers by calling (833) 997-1774 or by filling out the contact form on our website. 

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