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Why Fatal Bike Accidents Happen At Intersections

Riding a bike through Boise is exhilarating, particularly when you travel on routes in the city such as Swan Falls Loop. The problem is, taking rides like these can put you in harm’s way.

In 2012, 726 bicyclists were killed in bike vs. motor vehicle accidents—that’s just under two people every day that year. This is an increase from 2011 when just 682 bicycle fatalities were reported. Bicycle accident injuries caused by motor vehicles exceeded 49,000 in 2012 and 48,000 in 2011.

Why These Fatal Accidents Occur

In a match between a vehicle and a bicycle, the vehicle usually wins. This means that cyclists must ride on the defensive side, and knowing why accidents typically occur may help them stay safe. Some common causes are:

  • Lack of signals. An overwhelming number of intersections lack lights or other signals that tell drivers and cyclists when to go. As a result, confusion sets in and accidents occur. Cyclists think they have the right of way, particularly if they are traveling on a crosswalk, but drivers won’t often yield to them, which is when fatalities occur.
  • Left turn crashes. Much like with motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents often occur when a motorist attempts to make a left turn at an intersection and a biker going straight crashes into him. Bicyclists aren’t as easy to see as large vehicles are, which explains why drivers often pass directly in front of them when attempting to turn. They may also think that the bicycle is going slower than it actually is. Either way, serious injuries often occur.
  • Right angle crashes. These dangerous crashes occur when a vehicle and a bicycle attempt to pass through an intersection at the same time and end up hitting each other in a perpendicular fashion. This may happen because of a lack of signals or because either the driver or the cyclist didn’t pay attention to the signals.

What You Can Do About It

Bicycle vs. vehicle accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, fractured bones, and other serious problems that can take years and thousands of dollars to treat. The legal team of the Morton Law Offices doesn’t think you should be held responsible for these fees since you were the accident victim. If you feel the same way, contact us today to learn how we may be able to help.