Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents In Austin, Texas

November 27, 2023 | Bicycle Accidents

Accidents involving bicycles can lead to devastating injuries for a bicyclist. Information from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that there were more than 2,300 total bicycle collisions across the state during the most recent year of data on file. Out of these incidents, there were 91 fatalities, 326 suspected serious injuries, and 1,124 suspected minor injuries.

Here, we want to review some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents so you, either as a bicyclist or a driver, are more aware of the potential hazards and able to avoid them on the roadway.

How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?

Just like any other type of traffic incident, accidents involving bicycles can occur in a variety of ways, and there may be multiple liable parties after the dust settles. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include the following:

1. Distracted driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20% of all individuals who die as a result of a distracted driving crash were not in vehicles. The CDC states that individuals riding bicycles are regularly harmed due to distracted driving incidents. This can include distractions caused by phones or other devices, by individuals eating or drinking in a vehicle, and more.

2. Failing to leave an adequate buffer distance

Drivers who follow others too closely present significant hazards on the roadways, particularly for bicyclists. If drivers do not leave enough space between themselves and a cyclist, this creates an extremely dangerous situation and very little room for error in the event an unexpected situation arises.

3. Speeding or driving too fast for conditions

Speeding is a leading cause of vehicle accident injuries and fatalities each year in the state of Texas. Individuals operating vehicles too fast for conditions are often unable to slow down or react in time when an unexpected situation occurs.

4. Unsafe lane changes

Drivers should always change lanes by first turning on their turn signals and then visually inspecting the lane they wish to move toward. If a vehicle driver fails to use their turn signal or fails to check for others in the desired lane, they could inadvertently crash into a bicyclist.

5. Turning without looking

Similar to unsafe lane changes, drivers who make turns without checking their surroundings are more likely to run into a bicyclist traveling through an intersection.

6. Running a stop sign or stop light

Any driver who runs through a red light or a stop sign presents hazards not only to themselves but also to others inside vehicles, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians.

7. Failing to yield the right of way

Many people do not realize that bicyclists are afforded most of the same rights as traditional vehicles on Texas roadways. This means that vehicles are required to yield the right of way to bicyclists in many situations, and failing to do so could lead to a severe crash.

8. Impaired driving

Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs will have slowed reaction times and are much more likely to operate a vehicle erratically.

Do You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

If you or a loved one sustains an injury in a bicycle accident caused by the negligent actions of another party in Austin or the surrounding areas, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A bicycle accident lawyer in Austin from the Bonilla Law Firm can help you examine the facts of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, and work to recover the compensation you need. Contact us today.