Cycling is an excellent form of exercise, in addition to an effective way of reducing your carbon footprint. Bicycle culture has exploded in recent years, and more people are hopping on bikes for both recreation and transportation.
Of course, bicycling is not with out its inherent risks. Obstacles abound, and in a collision with a vehicle, cyclists are typically the ones with the worse outcome. Recent upticks in cycling numbers have, naturally, been correlated with an increase in accidents. Still, for biking enthusiasts of all stripes, including the nearly 870,000 people who report biking to work, the positives outweigh the drawbacks.
Still, accidents can happen, and when they do, it’s best to know what you can expect. Severe harm, like traumatic brain injuries or even death, are possibilities, but less severe injuries are even more common.
Los Angeles ranks as one of the top 10 most dangerous cities for cyclists, so it’s good to know the risks. Let’s take a look at a few of the most commonly reported accidents that cyclists endure:
- Run-ins with car doors – this avoidable cause for collision happens when a motorist opens their door without checking for oncoming cyclists. The person on the bicycle can’t necessarily anticipate whether a car has an occupant, or whether that occupant will suddenly swing the door open.
- Being struck by an oncoming car – whether you’re struck from behind by an approaching car or hit head-on by an oncoming car, collisions are serious and can often result in more severe injuries.
- Making a turn – in some instances, a car might attempt to make a right turn as you’re crossing through the intersection and strike you. In other cases, you might be making a left turn and are hit by an oncoming vehicle whose didn’t respect your attempt to merge into a turning lane. It’s important to remain cautious and use hand signals to make it clear you’re going to turn, but some drivers still manage to ignore or miss them.
- Failing to stop or yield – cyclists and drivers alike are sometimes guilty of blowing through a stop sign or traffic light. This can have severe or catastrophic results.
- Speeding – this is a major issue for vehicles on roadways. The high impact of a moving vehicle on a cyclist can be deadly.
Whether you’re walking, driving, bicycling, or taking any other form of transportation, there is always a risk calculation. In the case of cycling, the odds are still in your favor, especially if you play it safe.