An academic study conducted by a university in Australia indicates that motorists are more likely to be at fault than cyclists when it comes to accidents involving both. Adelaide University’s Centre for Automotive Research studied the causes of bicycle accidents, and head Researcher Tori Lindsay used police reports and hospital reports from bicycle accidents dating back to 2001. The study determined that approximately 8o percent of the accidents were caused by motorists.
“More than 85 percent of the cyclists in the study were identified as traveling straight on a single carriageway with the intention of continuing straight at the time of the crash,” said Lindsay. “Drivers of vehicles, however, were more likely to be turning, with more than 65 percent of all drivers undertaking a turn maneuver into or out of another roadway at the time of the crash.”
In other words, it is the drivers running into the cyclists in a majority of the cases. Part of the reason may be because it is more difficult to see cyclists than a moving vehicle. While that is not a valid excuse for motorist negligence, cyclists still need to assume when they are riding that they are difficult to see. It would be interesting to conduct a similar study in Southern California.
Tip of the week: Make yourself as visible as possible—wear reflectors and equip your bicycle with lights on the front and rear.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident lawyer