Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents - Sand Law North Dakota
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Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

23rd April 2024

Injured bicyclist lies in the road after being hit by a car

Driver negligence, as well as environmental conditions, are often factors in North Dakota bicycle accidents.


  • Bicyclists experience certain risk factors that increase the chances of bicycle accidents.
  • Knowing what can cause a bicycle accident can help prevent a collision.
  • The cause of your bicycle accident can affect your bicycle accident injury claim.

A bicycle accident has the potential to cause severe injuries that inflict lifelong disabilities or even death. In order to better help prevent these collisions from occurring it is integral that both motorists and bicyclists have an understanding of major risk factors and causes of bicycle accidents.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident with a car, truck, or other motor vehicle then contact the North Dakota bicycle accident attorneys of Sand Law about seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Damages related to your injuries such as medical expenses, lost wages, and mental anguish can be covered by a bicycle accident settlement. To contact Sand Law about filing a bicycle accident lawsuit or claim, call our office at (701) 394-4744 or fill out a form on our contact page.

Factors That Contribute to Increased Bicycle Accident Risk

Bicycle accident injury claims are unfortunately commonplace across North Dakota. Many people end up suffering severe injuries in bicycle accidents where they are hit by cars due to many of the following factors.

Chance of a Bicycle Accident Changes With the Time of Day

Your risk of being involved in a collision with a car or other motor vehicle while riding a bike changes depending on the time you ride. Statistics indicate that you are more likely to get into a crash while riding a bike between 6-9 pm. The early evening still has significant traffic generated by people returning from their jobs and the late time means less visibility as well.

The Amount of Light and Visibility Impact Bicyclists’ Safety

A large number of bicycle accidents occur due to a lack of visibility. Drivers who cannot see bicyclists due to low light later in the day or night, traffic, or other conditions are a major hazard. Bicyclists that stand out due to lights on their bikes or brighter colors on the bike or bicyclist are at much lower risk of being hit by a car.

Weather Can Affect Bicyclists’ Risk of Injury

Adverse weather can affect bicyclist safety not just because it can make riding their bikes more difficult but because it can also affect motorists. Rain and fog can obscure vision. Wet weather can cause bicycle accidents when vehicles lose control due to less friction on wet road surfaces,.

Likelihood of Bicycle Accidents Varies Between Urban or Rural Settings

You are significantly more likely to get in a bike accident in an urban environment than in a rural environment. Cities will have more cars and more streets that intersect and create opportunities for accidents. The bigger the city, the more dense these factors become and the more likely a bicycle accident will occur.

Street Type and Location Plays a Role in North Dakota Bicycle Accidents

The type of road also factors into your risk of a bicycle collision with a car. Bicycling near intersections, high-speed roads, and roads with more lanes for traffic comes with an increased risk of getting involved in a collision with a car.

Most Common Bicycle Accident Causes

Driver error is often a contributing cause of North Dakota bicycle accidents.

Distracted Driving

Perhaps the most common cause of car accidents in general does not spare bicyclists either. Driving without full attention given to the task at hand is a reckless and dangerous behavior that has killed many drivers and bicyclists.

Drivers are prone to taking their attention off the road to engage in a number of tasks. In doing so they essentially travel lengths of the road blind until they return their attention to driving. A few seconds of distracted driving is all it takes to not see a bicyclist and cause a bicycle crash. The following are some common examples of distracted driving.

  • Smartphone use (texting/app use)
  • Eating and drinking
  • Smoking
  • Adjusting the seat
  • Putting on makeup
  • Unruly passengers
  • Adjusting car settings (music, air conditioning, mirrors)

Drunk Driving Causes Bicycle Accidents

Alcohol inebriation drastically reduces someone’s ability to operate a vehicle by negatively affecting judgment, perception, reflexes, and coordination. Drunk driving is well known as a major cause of injuries and death on the roads and it unfortunately leads to many bicycle accidents as well.

Driving under the influence of other substances also contributes to the occurrence of bicycle accidents. Drugs like amphetamines and opiates can impair driving ability and lead to collisions with bike riders.

Speeding and Bicycle Accidents

Drivers that travel at unsafe speeds are a major cause of collisions with bicyclists. When driving at a higher speed, drivers have less control over the vehicle, they take more time to stop, and they need to have faster reaction times to avoid hitting something like a bicycle.

Failure to Yield Contributes to Collisions With Bicycles

Motorists who do not observe traffic rules and yield to bicyclists can cause car-on-bicycle collisions. Bicyclists in certain situations have priority when it comes to crossing which cars are expected to respect.

Some drivers see bicyclists as more of a nuisance and compare them more to pedestrians than fully-fledged vehicles. Bicycles are classified as vehicles and are beholden to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles.

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Since bicycles lack any protective buffer between them and colliding vehicles, the injuries suffered by bicyclists tend to be more severe than those suffered in car accidents. Bicyclists can suffer physical trauma from the collision itself and additional damage when they are thrown from a bike to the ground. The following are some of the most common bicycle injuries.

Let Sand Law Handle Your North Dakota Bicycle Accident Lawsuit

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident consider contacting Sand Law about filing a bicycle accident claim. The bicycle accident lawyers of Sand Law offer award-winning legal assistance to the people of North Dakota from Fargo to Williston.

We can help you get the coverage you need for medical bills and lost wages with a personal injury claim. To contact Sand Law about filing a bicycle accident lawsuit or claim either call our office at (701) 394-4744 or fill out a form on our contact page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does personal injury protection cover bicyclists?

As long as you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for your car you will be covered by it if you are involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle. Even if you yourself do not have auto insurance, your immediate family’s auto insurance may provide PIP coverage.

How can I get more compensation after a bicycle accident to cover my injuries?

PIP coverage is limited so you may need to seek additional coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurance in what is known as a third-party claim. Filing a bicycle accident claim this way will require you to prove the fault of the defendant party so that you can use it as leverage to negotiate a fair settlement to cover your bicycle accident damages.

Will the cause of my bicycle accident affect a bicycle accident claim?

The cause of your bicycle accident will play into how severe your injuries are, determining fault, and even the length of your case. Injury severity can affect whether or not your case goes to trial. The nature of your bicycle accident may also make pinning fault on the defendant party more difficult.