Common causes of bicycle accidents

What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents 

Common causes of bicycle accidents

Bike accidents, including e-bike accidents, continue to rise in Irvine and across Orange County. If a bicyclist is hit in the bike lane or while sharing the lane with a vehicle, they may suffer from traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries. But what are the most common causes of bicycle accidents? Continue reading this blog to find out. 

If you or a loved one sustained bicycle injuries in a collision, contact a qualified bike accident attorney. You may be eligible to receive financial compensation from the person who hit you.


Bike Accidents in Irvine: Common Causes 

Causes of bicycle accidents with motor vehicles | common causes of bicycle accidents

In 2022, Irvine witnessed a significant surge in bicycle-related traffic incidents, with the number reaching 83, marking a steep 172% escalation from the previous year. Of these collisions, e-bikes were implicated in 34% of the cases, while teenagers were involved in nearly 59% of the accidents. 

The following factors contribute significantly to many bicycle accidents and related injuries in Irvine: 


Speeding is one of the most common factors in motor vehicle accidents, including those involving bicyclists. When drivers speed, it increases their stopping time and the potential for loss of vehicle control. Engaging in other forms of reckless driving, such as running red lights, also increases the likelihood of a crash. 

Bicyclists who speed can also contribute to an accident. Certain e-bikes can reach speeds of 28 mph or more. To maintain safety, bicyclists must obey speed limits and ensure they are riding at a speed that is reasonable and prudent under existing conditions. 

Distracted Driving 

Distractions, especially texting while driving, are some of the most dangerous behaviors on the road. Drivers looking down on their phones or texting may not see cyclists ahead of them or beside them, leading to a rear-end collision or sideswipe accident. According to The League of American Bicyclists, an estimated 1 in 5 distracted driving deaths was a pedestrian or bicyclist. 

Failure to Yield 

The question of “who has the right of way” can be a complicated one. These types of collisions are most frequent at intersections where drivers or bicyclists may fail to follow the rules of the road. In some bicycling accidents, a driver may strike a bicyclist traveling in the opposite direction who has the right of way. In other cases, cyclists may fail to yield to oncoming traffic. Left-hook and right-hook collisions are two of the most common bicycle accidents that occur at intersections. 

Impaired Driving 

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a major contributing factor in vehicle accidents. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect a driver’s ability. Every year, drunk driving accidents lead to thousands of severe injuries and fatalities. Drugs and certain over-the-counter and prescription medications can also lead to impaired driving. 

Riding while impaired is also illegal in California, and Irvine police can ticket or arrest bike riders if they believe they are violating the law and putting themselves in danger. 

Poor Road Conditions and Visibility 

With its wide roads and clearly marked bike lanes, Irvine has made efforts to improve its bicycle safety. However, road hazards like wet or slippery roads and construction can still contribute to bicycle crashes. 

Data from the NHTSA reveals that more than half of bicyclist fatalities occur at dawn, dusk, or night. Bicyclists are required to have front and rear lights on their bicycles and should wear reflective clothing to be more easily seen. 

Failure to Obey Traffic Laws 

Bicycles and motor vehicles are treated as equals, which means they are bound by the same laws. Failure to follow traffic laws, such as running stop signs or red lights, can lead to bicycle accidents and injuries. 

Bicyclists must also be aware of certain actions that put them at risk of suffering a serious injury. One is riding against traffic, which is illegal in California and very dangerous. The other is not wearing a helmet. Under California law, all riders under 18 must wear a helmet. 


When and Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?

Avoid collisions on a bike path with parked cars | common causes of bicycle accidents

Urban Areas 

Most bicycle accidents occur in urban areas with higher traffic and pedestrian activity volumes, which increases the likelihood of accidents involving bicyclists. Studies consistently show that urban areas are hotspots for bicycle accidents, with nearly three-quarters of all bicyclist deaths occurring in these regions. 


Intersections are often dangerous because visibility is limited for both drivers and cyclists. Nearly 30% of fatal bicycle accidents happen at intersections. Improper turns from vehicle drivers or bicycle riders are among the leading causes of intersection accidents. 


Bike accident-related injuries and deaths are more frequent between June and September in the summer months. This period sees increased bicyclist activity, contributing to more accidents. 


Liability in a Bicycle Accident

Liability in a bicycle crash depends on who is at fault, whether the cyclist, the motorist, or even a third party, such as a government agency responsible for road maintenance or a manufacturer of defective bicycle equipment. Both drivers and bicyclists can be legally liable for causing or contributing to an accident. 

California operates under a comparative negligence system, meaning that liability can be shared between parties based on their degree of fault. 


Injured in an Irvine Bike Accident? 

Avoid bicycle accidents | common causes of bicycle accidents

Your life can change in an instant if you were hit by a car while riding your bike in Irvine. It is not uncommon for bicycle accident victims to feel physical pain and emotional trauma after an accident. If this traumatic event has happened to you or a loved one, call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

An Irvine bicycle accident attorney can help you determine fault in a personal injury claim to obtain compensation for your medical expenses and other losses, including lost wages and pain and suffering. The legal team at Woodbridge Accident Lawyers is ready to help you seek justice after your bike accident. Call us at (949) 850-6767 today.

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