Do you ride a bicycle for pleasure or transportation? If so, you are aware of the danger of other vehicles. But just because you know accidents can happen, that doesn’t mean you know when and where they are most likely to occur.
Table of Contents
- What Time of Day Do Accidents Occur?
- Surprising Statistics About Where Bicycle Accidents Occur
- Most Dangerous Places to Ride a Bike
- How to Protect Yourself from a Bicycle Accident
What Time of Day Do Accidents Occur?
According to the NHTSA, most bicycle deaths happen between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 p.m. and midnight on weekends. These accidents are primarily due to low visibility.
Bikes, due to their small size, are generally difficult for drivers to notice. Bikes are even harder to see at night, particularly if riders wear dark clothing and the bikes don’t have reflectors or lights.
Drinking and Riding
There is another reason that most bicycle deaths happen at night. Roughly one-quarter of bicycle deaths involve drinking, and most drinking happens in the evening. While you may think riding a bike after drinking is a responsible way to avoid drinking and driving, it is still dangerous.
Surprising Statistics About Where Bicycle Accidents Occur
Wondering where do most bicycle accidents occur? The answer is probably not where you think.
The biggest surprise is that fatal bicycle accidents are much rarer than fatal car accidents at intersections. Bicycles are most likely to be struck fatally near driveway access points.
Another big surprise is that almost two-thirds of all nonfatal bicycle accidents occur on city streets, but only one-third of fatal bicycle accidents occur on city streets. This suggests that lower-speed accidents are much less likely to be fatal than high-speed accidents.
Most Dangerous Places to Ride a Bike
A fatal bike accident can happen anywhere, especially when weather conditions are hazardous. However, most fatal bike accidents are due to collisions with cars. Common places in which collisions occur include:
- Urban areas
- US and state highways
- Near driveway access points
The main commonality between these locations is a lack of visibility. Drivers have limited vision in driveways and urban areas, as well as when driving at high speeds. If a car driver has difficulty seeing a bike rider, an accident is more likely to occur.
Highways are particularly dangerous for bike riders, which is why it is illegal to ride a bike on interstate highways. A very high percentage of accidents on a highway are fatal for bike riders due to the high speeds involved.
How to Protect Yourself from a Bicycle Accident
Where do most bicycle accidents occur? Learning about the risks of bicycle riding in low-visibility areas can help you protect yourself from fatal accidents.
Dress for Visibility
Wear bright and colorful clothing with reflector strips. This will draw drivers’ eyes, particularly at night when most fatal accidents happen. Adding reflectors to your bike offers even more safety.
Watch for Cars Near Driveways
It is legal to back out of a driveway in California. And while drivers are responsible for giving right-of-way to anyone already on the road, they have limited visibility. Protect yourself by looking for cars turning into or out of a driveway every time you are about to pass one.
Ride in the Direction of Traffic
Under California law, bicycles are not considered vehicles. Despite this, you are safest if you follow most of the rules that other vehicles are required to follow. If you are riding in the direction of traffic, accidents are less likely to happen and less likely to be fatal when they do occur.
Use Bike Lanes When Available
While you aren’t legally required to use bike lanes, fatal accidents are much less common in bike lanes. Drivers have a greater awareness of riders in lanes designated for bicycles.
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