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News Stories

What Percent of Bicycle Accidents Involve an Automobile?

Vehicle accidents involving bicycles often result in significant injuries for the bicyclist. However, what percentage of bicycle accidents actually involve automobiles? Surely, there are many bicycle accidents that do not involve motorized vehicles. Here, we will look at bicycle accidents involving vehicles in Southern California as well as the types of injuries that occur in these situations.

Bicycle Accidents Can Be Deadly

Statistics from the US government show that bicycle accidents only account for approximately 2% of all traffic collisions across the country each reporting year. However, these accidents make up a disproportionate amount of severe injuries and fatalities that occur on our roadways, particularly when examining how few accidents actually involve bicycles.

Unfortunately, bicyclists do not have much protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them. Even when a bicycle rider is wearing a helmet, they have very little protection from a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds.

But do we know what percentage of bicycle accidents actually involve an automobile?

Bicycle accidents occur in a wide variety of ways. Yes, the cause of many bicycle accidents does revolve around driver negligence. Information from the California Office of Traffic Safety indicates that there were more than 10,000 bicyclist injuries and 133 bicyclist fatalities during the latest reporting year across this state. However, this information only pertains to collisions involving motor vehicles. These are the only incidents that are required to be reported to law enforcement officials.

We lack reliable information related to how many additional bicycle accidents occur across the state. In fact, there is no solid data on how many overall bicycle accidents occur anywhere in the United States. The only reliable information that we get from the state and at the federal level involves bicycle accidents with passenger vehicles or commercial vehicles.

But we do know that bicycle accidents occur in other ways. After all, any person who rode a bicycle regularly as a child inevitably crashed. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents that do not involve reportable vehicle collisions include:

  • Operating a bicycle while impaired by alcohol drugs
  • Operating the bicycle while distracted by a phone or another device 
  • Bicycle rider inexperience
  • Operating a bicycle too fast for conditions

There are certainly other ways that bicycle accidents occur in California and throughout the country. Often, bicycle accidents that do not involve another vehicle are solo collisions, only involving a bicyclist. However, bicycle accidents involving other bicyclists or pedestrians can also lead to severe injuries for those involved. There is a good chance that these types of collisions will not be reported to law enforcement agencies, and they will not end up in official statistics given out by the state each year.

If You Sustain a Bicycle Accident Injury

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver or another individual, you may need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. An Orange County bicycle accident attorney can investigate your claim and examine the possibility of you securing compensation for your losses. This can include compensation through an insurance carrier or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit filed against the at-fault party. Let an attorney gather the evidence needed to prove liability, ensure that you are properly cared for by trusted medical professionals, and handle all negotiations on your behalf.