Frequent bicycle accidents: 9 road hazards you should know about!
+ 30%. This is the increase in road accidents including a cyclist in 2020. Indeed, behind this trendy and ecological mode of travel, pedaling in city or country has its share of disturbances and pitfalls.
With our selection of 9 dangerous and frequent cycling situations , anticipate the threats of the road and the behavior of its various users… And beat the statistics!
1 - Obstacles on the cycle path
Who has never been surprised by a garbage dumped on the road, a patch of ice or a pothole? If the interior of a car absorbs shocks and controls the trajectory in the face of an obstacle, the bicycle has no room for error. Indeed, any type of object left on the track damages the tires, causes deviations, exits from the road and other uncontrollable slips.
This loss of control weakens your attention and your safety in traffic.
2 - Heavy goods vehicles, a major danger for cyclists
Road traffic causes all vehicles to occupy the same road ... including heavy goods vehicles. Alongside cyclists, buses, trucks and delivery vans are real dangers for bicycles . Due to their size differences, accidents between a bicycle and a long vehicle can be fatal, even at low speed.
In fact, the lack of visibility via their increased blind spot, the large drafts formed when overtaking and the width of space required when taking a bend… The risk of mortality quadruple runners in an accident facing a heavy weight.
3 - Outsmart the carelessness of pedestrians
If the cyclist is considered vulnerable, the pedestrian is even more so. Yet often distracted, passers-by are one of the recurring dangers for cyclists.
Concentrated on their phones or earphones in their ears, they cross outside zebra crossings, occupy cycle paths to the point of underestimating their discomfort when facing a bicycle . Discreet and non-motorized, bicycles only have their bell to be heard. Keep an eye out!
4 - Anticipate door openings
For their safety, the highway code obliges cyclists to circulate well to the right of the road. However, this part of the lane is often occupied by parked cars.
It happens that a driver gets out and opens his door without looking to see if he is obstructing the passage. To the chagrin of the cyclist who, at best, manages to narrowly get around ...
5 - Carelessness of Motorists
Who has never changed lanes without putting their turn signal on the wheel? A real scourge in the city, many vehicles forget to signal their change of direction. What remains dangerous for the cyclist at the rear, launched at full speed. Result: lane conflict accounts for 46% of bicycle accidents .
Let us also count the drivers concentrated on the settings of their GPS or in the process of consulting a notification on their phone… This lack of concentration further increases the risk of collision with a cyclist.
6 - Confusion about dangerous developments
Cycling in urban areas is sometimes a real headache Interrupted cycle lanes, priorities in intersections ... As for the airlocks, they position bicycles in front of vehicles, ready to accelerate and overtake as soon as the green light passes…
Finally, some cities have tram tracks that road users are allowed to use. Less stable, this road system can cause the fall of a bicycle , not used to pedaling on a steel structure.
All these rock'n roll arrangements and situations disturb the cyclist's confidence and concentration… Constantly looking for where he should go.
7 - Being disturbed on the bike path
By bike, danger is everywhere. Even on reserved lanes, such as cycle paths. Often used by motorized two-wheelers as shortcuts during rush hour, scooters disturb the peace of cyclists. Loud and more powerful, they overtake at a speed that surprises even the smallest bike shop or family out for a ride.
Frightened, the child or adult on his bicycle brakes suddenly. A reflex that can cause him to fall. It also happens that the bicycle lane turns into a scooter parking lot. Thus, bicycles no longer circulate peacefully and are forced to use the sidewalk or the lane of motorists.
This inconvenience also applies to taxis and other driverless cars which cut the road completely ignoring the cycle path.
8 - The Lack of Visibility
Day and night, road accidents with cyclists come from a lack of visibility. The darkness of the night or the mist in broad daylight are all natural conditions that reduce the perception of a poorly lit bicycle on the road.
To remedy this, discover all our recommendations for to be seen on a bike (link to article 6) . As well as all appropriate equipment.
9 - Knowing how to pedal in bad weather
For those who take their bikes out even in winter, beware of the dangers of inclement weather. Watch the temperatures, because, after 3 degrees, patches of ice are no warning! All road and sidewalk users are vulnerable to frozen ground. Mastering your winter bike riding allows you to dodge the slips of vehicles and the falls of pedestrians crossed on your way.
Let's not forget the white stripes, piles of soggy fallen leaves and slick manhole covers that become your worst enemies on rainy days.
Used as a gentle mode of travel, the bicycle faces dangers that are sometimes very real on boulevards, as well as on roads outside built-up areas. With this list of pitfalls to avoid on a bike , you are now ready to climb into the saddle and ride with vigilance.
However, if confusing behavior and problematic situations are criticized here, a good knowledge and application of road cycling codes (link to article 5 ) also avoid most disasters. Sometimes caused by cyclists themselves, through bad driving habits ;-). Find our recommendations and equipment to avoid accidents..