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Common Mistakes Can Lead to a Bicycle Crash

While bicycle accidents are not as common as car crashes, they are often more devastating for the victims. Skull, chest, or abdominal injuries, broken limbs, and severe lacerations are all common. In 2012, there were 726 bicyclist fatalities in the United States.

With this in mind, it is imperative that both drivers and bicyclists take proper precautions to avoid collisions.

The National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA) publishes a “Safety in Numbers” newsletter every month. Its July edition focused on bicycle safety, including steps both drivers and bicyclists can take to avoid accidents.

As the NHTSA highlights, both cyclists and drivers make mistakes that contribute to crashes. Below are some of the most common:

  • Bicyclist rides out into the street from a driveway, alley, or from between parked cars without stopping or looking for traffic.
  • Bicyclist rides through a stop sign or red light without stopping.
  • Bicyclist rides impaired.
  • Driver turns in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.
  • Driver turns right on red without looking to the right and behind, hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear.
  • Driver passes a bicycle too closely.
  • Driver is going too fast for conditions and hits a bicyclist who comes into the road unexpectedly.