When you are on a bicycle and get struck by a vehicle, you are likely to receive serious injuries that include broken bones and head trauma. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 800 people died as a result of these types of accidents in 2018.
While a bicycling accident can happen at any time of day, there are a few risk factors that may increase the likelihood of injury.
Most bicycle accidents happen in the early evening, after 7 p.m. but before 9 p.m., or the time of day commonly called dusk. Visibility can decrease for drivers during this time, which may make them less aware of your presence as a bicyclist. As such, crosswalks and curbs could become places of increased danger. You can make yourself more visible by wearing reflective clothing or adding reflectors to your bike’s wheels.
If you live in a city and commute or travel by bicycle, the risk of accident may increase during periods of heavy traffic flow. Construction, bottlenecks and other delays can cause traffic problems and may prompt drivers to disobey road signs and strike you as they try to swerve around stopped cars and barriers. Riding with the flow of traffic and noting important detour signs may help keep you safe.
Even if you use a crosswalk, drivers may strike you while trying to beat a yellow light. Slowing or walking your bike and double-checking for vehicles before you cross may lower the risk of accident as you cross the street, especially busy intersections.
While drivers must share the road with bicyclists, not all do so lawfully. Riding defensively, no matter your environment, may help you avoid a serious accident.