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Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

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Ever wondered about the keys to safer biking in Fresno? Bicycling, a beloved activity of all ages, brings joy, exercise, and eco-friendly commuting to the vibrant streets of Fresno. Yet, prioritizing road safety is crucial to prevent accidents. In this blog post, we explore the common causes of bicycle accidents and offer advice for both cyclists and motorists on fostering safer roads in Fresno. 

If you find yourself in a bicycle accident, consulting a bike accident lawyer can be your guide through the legal intricacies. They can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the legal complexities associated with bicycle accidents, offering tailored advice for those affected. 

1. Distractions while driving:

One cause of bicycle accidents that persists on roads today is distracted driving. When drivers engage in activities like texting, talking on the phone, or eating while operating their vehicles, their attention becomes divided, making it challenging for them to notice cyclists sharing the road with them. To avoid accidents resulting from driving:

  • Cyclists should adopt riding strategies and assume that drivers might be preoccupied.
  • Motorists must commit to distracted driving by refraining from smartphone use or engaging in distractions while behind the wheel.

2. Failure to yield:

Intersections are considered high-risk areas for bicycle-related accidents due to some motorists neglecting to yield the right of way as mandated by traffic laws.

Both cyclists and drivers should have an understanding of the rules regarding the right of way at intersections and take precautions to prevent failure-to-yield incidents:

  • Cyclists can enhance their visibility by wearing reflective clothing and using proper lighting, especially when riding at night. 
  • Motorists should exercise patience and carefully check for any approaching bicycles before making turns or changing lanes.

3. Door related Accidents:

Accidents involving collisions between cyclists and open car doors, known as dooring accidents, often occur due to the behavior of drivers who park on streets. They fail to assess their surroundings before opening their doors. Cyclists can take measures to avoid incidents:

  •  Stay vigilant while cycling near parked vehicles.
  •  Maintain a safe distance between yourself and parked cars.
  •  Utilize designated cycling lanes whenever possible.

4. Accidents Involving Turns and Left Turns:

Accidents where a motorist makes a right-hand turn in front of a cyclist or when a driver turns left in front of an approaching cyclist are commonly referred to as right hooks and left crosses. These accidents typically happen because the driver misjudges or underestimates the speed of the cyclist. To reduce the chances of getting hit from either side while cycling:

  • Cyclists should increase their visibility by wearing clothing and using bicycle lights.
  • Motorists should carefully assess their surroundings before making turns, paying special attention to cyclists who share the road.

5. Impaired Driving:

Driving under the influence is a behavior that not only endangers motorists but also puts cyclists at significant risk. Impaired drivers have reaction times and impaired judgment, which increases the likelihood of accidents. Both cyclists and motorists have a responsibility to prevent accidents caused by driving:

  • Cyclists should refrain from cycling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
  • Drivers should designate individuals as drivers. 
  • Consider alternative transportation options if they have consumed alcohol or are impaired in any way.

6. Insufficient Road Infrastructure:

Inadequate road infrastructure can also contribute to bicycle accidents. Factors such as designed bike lanes, lack of signage, insufficient lighting, and uneven road surfaces can create unsafe conditions for cyclists. Here are some tips to help cyclists and urban planners address this issue and make our roads safer:

  • Cyclists should become familiar with the frequent routes and be mindful of any hazards or areas with road infrastructure.
  • It is important to raise awareness among authorities about the necessity for maintenance of well-designed bike lanes, clear signage, and adequate lighting on roads that cyclists commonly use.
  • Urban planners should prioritize the inclusion of cycling infrastructure, such as bike lanes separated from motor vehicle traffic, whenever possible.


While enjoying the benefits of cycling, it is crucial to prioritize safety on the road to prevent accidents. Common causes of bicycle accidents include driving, failure to yield incidents involving car doors, dangerous turns in front of cyclists, impaired driving, and poor road infrastructure. By educating both cyclists and motorists and implementing precautions like riding strategies and distraction-free driving habits, we can work together to reduce bicycle accidents significantly. Additionally, advocating for road infrastructures that cater to cyclists’ needs will help create an environment for all road users. Remember, prioritizing safety benefits everyone involved- from cyclists to motorists who share the roads.

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