Common Types of Bicycle Accidents That Occur at Intersections

Many bicycle accidents happen in urban areas, especially at intersections. Motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists are required to follow traffic rules, including those that apply to intersections. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to observe these traffic rules. This type of negligence can result in catastrophe for bicyclists with little protection from the impact of the heavier and faster motor vehicle. Intersections are one of the riskiest and most common locations for bicycle accidents.

Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign or Traffic Light

Drivers understand that they must stop at a red light or stop light. They are also required to use caution at yellow lights. Failure to follow stop signs and stoplights is a common cause of preventable bicycle accidents. A driver who runs through a stop sign or red light may strike a bicyclist passing through the intersection with the right of way. The driver may fail to stop together, which can have the same consequence. When drivers collide with bicyclists who have the right of way at an intersection, they will be at fault for the accident. The passenger vehicle driver's failure to yield can cause a collision with the bicyclist.

Left-Hand Turn Collisions

In other cases, a bicyclist and a motorist may enter an intersection. The driver may turn left, striking a bicyclist who has entered the intersection. The driver may not see the bicyclist or misjudge the bicycle's speed. In other cases, drivers making left-hand turns do not use a turn signal, causing a collision. In these scenarios, the driver may be liable for the property damage and injuries caused by the left-hand turn collision.

“Right Hook” Collisions

In a right hook collision, the driver turns right at an intersection, colliding with an oncoming bicycle. Suppose a driver passes a bicyclist on his right and then turns to turn right. If he is not paying close attention, the driver may cut off the bicyclists. as a result, the bicyclists would collide with the right side of the driver's vehicle. The driver may strike the bicyclist if he tries to execute a right-hand turn at the intersection too quickly. The bicyclist may not realize that the driver intends to turn.

Injuries Commonly Caused by Bicycle Accidents

Regardless of the cause of the bicycle accident, victims of bicycle accidents are far more likely to become seriously injured. Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet correctly along with other safety gear, the force of a heavy, large passenger vehicle can cause devastating injuries. Many people assume that collisions at low speeds are less likely to cause serious injuries. This is not the case for bicyclists. For example, suppose a driver backs out of a parking spot and fails to check for a bicyclist. The driver backs into the bicyclist, running him or her over. Although the accident occurred at low speeds, it can still have devastating or fatal consequences.

Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most common types of injuries caused by bicycle accidents. When a bicyclist is thrown from the bicycle, he or she can hit his or her head on the pavement. The helmet may not be enough to protect the bicyclists from bleeding and other traumatic brain damage. Similarly, when a vehicle collides with a bicyclist, the front end may hit the bicyclist's legs and ankles, causing bone fractures. Bicyclists can also experience road rash if they are thrown from their vehicles.

When bicyclists become crushed in accidents, they can suffer internal organ damage. Back injuries and neck injuries are also common but potentially devastating injuries caused by bicycle accidents. Medical expenses related to bicycle accidents can be expensive. As a bicycle accident victim, you may be entitled to damages through a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim.

Discuss Your Charlotte Bicycle Accident With a Skilled Attorney

Have you been seriously injured in a Charlotte bicycle accident? Did a negligent driver cause the accident? If so, it is crucial that you work with an experienced attorney who can advocate for your right to compensation. You only have a limited amount of time to pursue a claim for compensation. The sooner you discuss your case with an attorney, the sooner an attorney can answer your questions and begin the investigation process. Contact the experienced Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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