Common Types of North Carolina Bicycle Accidents

Riding a bicycle has many benefits, including health and financial benefits. One of the drawbacks is that if you are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, you will not have the type of external protection you have when you are in a four-wheeled vehicle. A lack of external protection results in a higher fatality rate for bicyclists involved in accidents. Most bicycle accidents could have been prevented had everyone involved been using safe driving practices. Most of the common causes of bicycle accidents involve some type of negligence, recklessness, or intentionally unsafe driving practices.

The Right Pull-Out Bicycle Accident

Right pull-out bicycle accidents occur when a driver pulls out onto a road and attempts to make a right-hand turn but does not see the oncoming bicyclist. Typically, the vehicle will hit the bicyclist in a T-bone accident. The vehicle pulls out in front of the cyclist at the last moment. It causes the cyclist to crash into the side of the vehicle, forming a right angle or “T.” This type of bicycle accident is especially prevalent in downtown Charlotte and other congested city areas in North Carolina, where roadways are tight.

The Right Hook Bicycle Accident

Right-hook bicycle accidents occur when a driver passes a bicyclist on the left and then makes a right-hand turn in front of the bicyclist. In these types of accidents, drivers often misjudge the bicyclist's speed. As a result, they fail to realize how close they are to the bicycle before they make a right-hand turn. Unfortunately, these types of bicycle accidents are among the most deadly for bicyclists.

“Dooring” Accidents

Dooring accidents are among the most dangerous but common types of bicycle accidents. When a parked driver or passenger opens their door on the driver's side of the vehicle as a bicyclist approaches, the bicyclist can collide with the door. In many cases, the bicyclist will collide with the vehicle's door and fly over his or her handlebars, over the door, and land on the hard pavement.

Being injured in this type of accident can be extremely frustrating because it could have been prevented if the driver or passenger had taken a few seconds to check before they opened their door. Drivers are often much less aware of their surroundings when they park a vehicle and are ready to exit it. In downtown Charlotte, these types of accidents happen frequently.

Rear-End Bicycle Accidents

Rear-end bicycle accidents happen when a bicyclist is rear-ended by a vehicle. These types of accidents can happen in several different scenarios. A bicyclist is lawfully riding in a traffic lane, and a distracted driver may not notice that the bicyclist has stopped. The driver has no time to break and collides with the bicyclists. In other cases, the bicyclists may be in a designated bicycle lane on the road.

The driver may be intoxicated or distracted and swerve into the bicycle lane, colliding with the bicyclists from behind. These types of accidents are extremely dangerous because they often involve the heavy motor vehicle running over the bicyclist. Even when the bicyclist is wearing safety equipment, including a helmet, he or she may suffer catastrophic injuries or death.

Left Cross Collisions

A left cross collision occurs when a bicyclist is riding straight through an intersection and a vehicle driving in the opposite direction makes a left-hand turn and collides with the bicyclist or forces the bicyclist to collide with them.

E-Bike Accidents

Electric bikes, also called e-bikes, have become more popular recently. With the recent increases in gas prices, many people have purchased electric bikes to commute to and from work. Unfortunately, e-bike riders are even more likely than typical bicycle riders to become injured in hospitalized with injuries. Someone on an e-bike can ride up to 28 miles per hour, while the average bicyclist commuting to and from work only travels about 12 miles per hour. As the use of e-bikes has increased, so has the increase in injuries caused by:

  • Riding at unsafe speeds
  • Collisions with pedestrians, cars, or other bicyclists
  • Injuries from not following traffic rules
  • Not knowing road safety techniques
Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Charlotte? We Can Help

If you or your loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, you will benefit from working with an experienced attorney. Arnold & Smith, PLLC has a proven track record of recovering the most compensation possible in bicycle accident cases. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a complimentary case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for you.

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