It’s no surprise to most people that when an accident happens involving a cyclist and a car, the cyclist is more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. No seatbelt, no vehicle exterior, and no airbags can make for a deadly combination in a car-bike accident. While many cyclists have taken the blame for bike accidents, a study now shows that it’s mostly motorists causing these preventable collisions. If a cyclist has been injured in an accident, his or her life has probably changed forever.

Many communities have invested a lot of time and money in improving the structure and conditions for bicyclists because of a rising number of bikers on the road. However, motorists often blame cyclists for riding carelessly, failing to obey laws and causing accidents. Research from Adelaide University’s Center for Automotive Safety Research, however, shows that motorists are often the ones to blame in an accident involving a cyclist. Another study in London, completed by the Westminster Council, identified the drivers were to blame in at least two thirds of bicycle and motorist collisions that happen throughout the city. Some of the most common causes of these bicycle and vehicle accidents included:

  • Reckless driving on behalf of the motorist.
  • Drivers failing to look around and be aware of cyclists on the road.
  • Drivers proceeding to close to the cyclists.
  • Drivers inappropriately judging the speed or the path of the cyclist.
  • Not paying attention.

That study found that cyclists were only responsible in approximately 20% of accidents. Motorists should always take extra care to be aware of any cyclists on the road and to watch their hand and arm movements which can indicate that they are approaching a turn or about to engage in some other type of behavior. Any intersection in San Diego can become a site for deadly bicycle accidents, but taking caution whether you’re on the bike or in the car can help to reduce their occurrence.