There are a lot people in the greater Albuquerque area who ride bicycles, and they probably understand that with this activity comes certain risks. While one might imagine that the biggest single hazard facing bicyclists is the chance of falling off one’s bike, the reality is that the single most common cause of bicycle accidents, at least those which get reported, involves the bicyclist getting struck by a car.
In fact, one survey from a few years back attributed 29 percent of all bicycle accidents to cars. The second most common cause of bicycle accidents was falls, at 17 percent. Significantly, 13 percent of these sorts of accidents involved a road or sidewalk not being in proper repair, and 7 percent involved unspecified collisions. In 4 percent of crashes, a dog either bit or interfered with a bicyclist.
These statistics paint a picture that shows many if not most bicycle accidents are not the fault of the bicyclist. Individuals, businesses and governments, for instance, have an obligation to keep the roads in good order, and pet owners need to keep their animals penned, particularly if they are going to present a danger to someone.
Perhaps most importantly, drivers of cars have an obligation to be on the lookout for bicyclists, and they also have an obligation to give bicyclists the same degree of respect as they would the driver of another vehicle. Should they fail to do so, a bicyclist can wind up seriously hurt and having to recover from permanent injuries, including debilitating spinal cord injuries or serious traumatic brain injuries. While helmets of course help, they are no guarantee for preventing these sorts of injuries.
A bicyclist who has been injured by a careless or inattentive driver is potentially entitled to seek compensation for their losses. By pursuing options for compensation, injured bicyclists may be able to obtain the financial resource they need to recover from the incident.