Types of Bike Accidents in DC

Due to the heavy presence of bicycles in Washington, DC there are a number of different ways in which bicycle accidents commonly occur. Below, a DC bike accident lawyer discusses these accidents and how they can lead to injuries. For assistance with your bike accident injury case, call and schedule a consultation with an injury attorney as soon as possible.

Most Common Bike Accidents in DC

One of the common accidents is being doored, which is when someone driving a bicycle is struck by an opening car door, typically when a car is parking. In those situations, the driver is only supposed to open their door into oncoming traffic or into traffic when it’s safe to do so. If a bicyclist is riding in the bike lane or on the road and they’re struck by an opening door, obviously, it wasn’t safe to do so and that driver can be at fault for causing the accident.

Another accident that’s typical with bicycles is failure to yield in a traffic circle because cars don’t acknowledge the presence of, or don’t see a bicyclist. If a bicyclist passes too closely to a vehicle, they’re not passing when it’s safe to do so and they’re not giving adequate space to the vehicles around them. This could be a potential reason to blame the bicyclist for the fault of the accident.

However, if a driver is passing too closely to a bicyclist, a driver is supposed to pass in a different lane or the adjacent lane to the bicyclist and only on the left. If the driver passes too closely on the left, the driver could be found at fault for causing an accident with the bicyclist.

Other Types of Common Bike Accidents in DC

There are many ways that bicycles can be involved in an accident. They can tangle with pedestrians or runners who aren’t paying attention while using an I-pod, listening to music, or while on a phone. Bicyclists can also be struck by other bicyclists who ride too closely.

Sidewalk Riding Accidents

A bicycle can ride on the sidewalk except in the central or downtown business district in DC. It’s not illegal per se for bicycle to be riding on the side walk. However, pedestrians have the right of way on a sidewalk, so bicyclists must make sure that they are not operating their bicycle in a way that will cause harm to any pedestrians rightfully using the sidewalk. Even though the bicyclist is on the sidewalk, they still have to obey the traffic signals while crossing the street.

Why Do These Accidents Happen More Frequently Than Pedestrian Accidents?

Most of the time, a bicyclist travels on the street in the traffic, so they are in greater proximity or in closer proximity to the cars around them. Pedestrians are hopefully properly crossing streets and sidewalks providing them less opportunity to be hit.

Electric Powered Bicycle Accidents

In addition to regular manual powered bicycles, you may be injured as a result of an electric powered bicycle crash as well. Generally speaking, electric bikes are less visible than other cars. As a result, the driver is more easily susceptible to being thrown from the vehicle than a person in a car because there is less protection in an electric bicycle than there is in a car.

Electric bicycles can also more readily catch fire or the engine can explode causing significant and severe damage to the person riding the electric bicycle. The person riding the electric bicycle can get trapped underneath the car that hits him from the front, back, or side. They can get sucked in under the wheels. Essentially, all the damage is present to a bicycle rider is present with an electric bicycle rider.

What Are The Traffic Laws For Electric Powered Bikes?

Electric powered bicycles are no different than motor vehicles because anything with an engine, either electrical or combustion, has to follow the same set of rules. Any rules that apply to motor vehicles apply to an electric bicycle.