Cyclists share the road with pedestrians and motor vehicles alike. Unlike either party, they are often at the greatest risk of serious injury when involved in crashes. This is because they have a whole slew of dangers stacked against them.
What are these dangers? How do they manifest? And is there anything cyclists can do to lower their chance of running into these issues?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looks into dangers that cyclists commonly face. These dangers come in many forms, including certain locations or the way other drivers conduct themselves.
First, there are damages to the road like potholes. In particular, a pothole often poses a potentially unavoidable risk or hurdle that can easily harm you. Bikes do not have the stability afforded to motor vehicles. Hitting one can send you flying over your handlebars and may result in broken bones.
Moving and parked vehicles
Next up, you have parked vehicles. Vehicles in motion also cause cyclists a lot of stress, especially in tight spaces. But parked vehicles prove a unique danger. In specific, drivers in parked cars do not often check to make sure cyclists are not coming before opening the door. Many cyclists have run into car doors. Others fell into oncoming traffic after the door pushed them out.
Speaking of moving vehicles, overtaking is a big risk. This happens when a car gets impatient and tries to pass you or another vehicle nearby without seeing you. As a result, they hit you or cause you to fall off your bike.
With these dangers making up just part of a long list, it is no wonder cyclists end up in risky situations so often. This is also why many victims of crashes end up able to seek compensation for their damages.