The Bicycle Accident Lawyer: Understanding Why Bicycle Accidents Occur (You Should Read This)
The onset of warmer weather includes an increase in the number of cyclists on the roads. Not only is cycling a healthy way to exercise, it is also an effective way to commute between work and home. Unfortunately, cyclists are at risk of being involved in an accident, especially when the traffic volumes are high.
At this juncture, it is essential to note that there are two reasons for understanding why cyclists are at risk of being involved in an accident:
- Knowing and understanding the risks brings about a change in the cyclist’s behavior, which in turn, will result in safer cycling behavior.
- If an accident occurs, it’s important to know who to hold liable for the accident.
Consequently, by way of answering this question, let’s consider some of the reasons why bicycle accidents occur, as highlighted by a bike crash injury attorney in Ventura, CA.
Bicycle accidents are most often caused either by cyclist or motor vehicle driver negligence.
What is negligence?
Wikipedia.com defines it as a “failure to exercise appropriate and or ethical ruled care expected to be exercised amongst specified circumstances.”
In other words, if a cyclist suddenly swerves across the path of an oncoming vehicle, the resulting accident is deemed to have been caused by the cyclist’s carelessness or inattention (negligence).
In the same way, if a motor vehicle driver suddenly turns into a side road without checking if there are any cyclists or pedestrians in the vehicle’s path, especially if pedestrians and cyclists have right of way, the driver is held to be negligent.
Criminal intent is described as a “determination to perform a particular act or to act in a particular manner for a specific reason; an aim or design; a resolution to use a certain means to reach an end.”
The fundamental difference between negligence and intent is that negligent behavior is accidental in nature, due to carelessness. On the other hand, intent, or criminal intent is the resolve to act in a particular manner.
For example, let’s assume you are a cyclist, and you are angry with a motor vehicle driver because he/she cut in front of you, pushing you off the road. You then decide to catch up to the vehicle, in slow-moving traffic and smash the car’s back window in with your bicycle pump, or multitool, causing a multi-vehicle pileup.
The motor vehicle driver acted negligently, but you acted intentionally. Consequently, you will be held criminally liable for any injuries and loss of life as a consequence of your actions.
These are the two fundamental reasons why bicycle accidents occur. And, both can be avoided if everyone on the public roads, vehicle drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians act with the care and consideration to counterbalance the dangers of travelling on public roads.
Finally, it is essential to note that cyclists are always more seriously injured in an accident than the vehicle occupants, no matter how minor the accident is. Ergo, cyclists are exposed on a bicycle. They do not have the protective layers of a vehicle around them. Thus, cyclists must take extra care while out and about. The resultant injuries, and even death, are not worth the slightest bit of carelessness and lack of concern.