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Sugar Land Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Bicycle Accident > What Causes Bicycle Accidents?

What Causes Bicycle Accidents?


Unsafe design is a contributing cause to many bicycle accidents. Safety technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since the bicycle’s invention in 1817, but none of these innovations are in modern bicycles. All that being said, driver error, usually operator impairment or aggressive driving, substantially causes most bicycle accidents. More on that below.

If that driver error is negligence, and it usually is, a Sugar Land bicycle injury lawyer can obtain the compensation bicycle accident victims need and deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Operator Impairment

The chain of events that ends in an operator impairment-related crash usually begins hours, days, or even months before the tortfeasor (negligent driver) gets behind the wheel. Since the tortfeasor had so many opportunities to break this chain of events and prevent a bicycle crash from occurring, operator impairment is almost always negligence. Common kinds of driver impairment include:

  • Drug/Alcohol Use: These substances impair judgment ability and motor skills. Therefore, these drivers often underestimate the distance between themselves and a slow-moving bicycle, and they cannot react quickly enough to fix that error. About 50 percent of tortfeasors who cause fatal wrecks have some drugs and/or alcohol in their systems.
  • Fatigue: Most people begin using drugs or alcohol a few hours before they drive. Fatigue issues often set in much earlier than that. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. Furthermore, if a tortfeasor’s daily schedule changes, they must change their sleep schedules to accommodate the new schedule. Many tortfeasors don’t take this necessary precaution.
  • Medical Condition: Serious medical conditions, like diabetes and epilepsy, could cause a sudden loss of consciousness behind the wheel. People with such conditions simply shouldn’t drive, even if the state declares such behavior is safe. Moderate medical conditions, like flus and colds, significantly reduce driving ability.

In addition to the ordinary negligence doctrine, the negligence per se rule often applies to operator impairment-related wrecks as well. It’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving also causes many bicycle accidents. This behavior might or might not be negligence. Speeding is a good example.

Assume traffic is light, environmental conditions are favorable, and Tim is speeding 5mph over the posted limit. While technically illegal, most jurors would agree that Tim probably was careless, but not legally negligent.

Now assume traffic is light and Tim is speeding 5mph over the limit, but the road is wet. That slight excessive speed could easily cause Tim to lose control of his vehicle, at least momentarily, when he turns or changes lanes. That momentary loss, which is the result of negligence, is sufficient to cause a bicycle crash.

Incidentally, in Texas, the posted speed limit is a presumptively reasonable speed under ideal conditions. If environmental or road conditions are poor, a driver could be legally speeding even if s/he’s running below the posted limit.

Other kinds of aggressive driving that often cause bicycle crashes include turning unsafely and ignoring a traffic control device.

Count On a Dedicated Harris County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Missouri City, contact the Henrietta Ezeoke Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

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