Who Is Usually At Fault In Car-On-Bicycle Collisions?

Today was “bike to work day”, and as an avid bicyclist and a Central New York bicycle accident lawyer, I couldn’t resist snooping around a bit on the web to see what I could find. I stumbled upon an interesting article about bike-on-car crashes on NPR’s website entitled, “When Bikes And Cars Collide, Who’s More Likely To Be At Fault?

The article recites the fact that bicycle-on-motor-vehicle collisions in the U.S.A. take about 600 cyclists’ lives a year and injure about 51,000. The article then discusses several studies that have attempted to determine whether cyclists or car operators are more often at fault. Answer? It depends. Different studies have reached opposite results. Overall, though, it appears that cars are slightly more likely to be at fault. This surprised me. In my experience representing injured cyclists in Central New York, the motorist is far more often at fault.

The most interesting part of the article, though, was a discussion regarding the most common types of car-on-bike crashes. The winner? Bicyclists getting rear-ended by cars. This validates my fear, which I blogged about before, of cars approaching from behind me on narrow, shoulder-less roads.

Best of all, the article links to another site that maps out pictorially the 5 most common types of car-on-bicycle collisions and how to avoid them. Each type of car-on-bike collision is given a name: “The left cross, the right hook, dooring, parking-lotted, and overtaking”. This site is a must-read for all cyclists because, once you see the illustrations of how most bike-on-car collisions happen, you can better avoid them.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani
Email me at: bersani@mbk-law.com I’d love to hear from you!

Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels Bersani Kalabanka


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