Bicycle Accidents in the District and Resulting Injuries

Bicycle in street having been in a collision with a car
There are about 500,000 bicycle injuries each year in the country. Because fewer than 10 percent of those injured in bicycle accidents seek emergency treatment, the number of injured bicyclists is greatly underreported.

Injuries and Legal Actions in Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicycle accidents are on the rise. When an automobile and a bicycle collide, injuries occur because cyclists lack proper protection. We’ll examine how intersections affect bicycling safety and the increasing number of bike accidents. 

Bicycle Accident Statistics in the United States

There are about 500,000 bicycle injuries each year in the country. Because fewer than 10 percent of those injured in bicycle accidents seek emergency treatment, the number of injured bicyclists is greatly underreported. Bicycle accidents resulting in death are most common in urban areas. About 90 percent of cyclists who die in accidents are men.

Additional information includes:

  • Cycling collisions with vehicles have increased since the 1980s, as has the cyclists’ average age. In 1988, it was 24, in 1998, 34, and in 2016, 46.
  • Bicycle accidents result in around $4 billion in injuries and deaths each year.
  • Twenty percent of bicycle accidents happen between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Unreported Bicycle Accidents Are Common

Unless there are severe injuries, the majority of bicycle accidents go unreported. If a cyclist is hit by a motor vehicle, they should treat the accident no differently than if they were in a car. The police should be contacted as soon as the accident occurs, and neither party should leave the scene.

When a collision occurs, you may be unaware of how severe your injuries are and the driver’s behavior that caused it. It is more difficult to collect damages if the accident isn’t reported, and a collision report isn’t provided with witness statements. You owe it to yourself to call the police after a bicycle accident. You also need to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Bicycle-Related Intersection Accidents

For bicyclists, intersections can be dangerous. An intersection is the site of more than half of the accidents when motor vehicles collide with cyclists. The design and complexity of intersections, such as traffic lights, stop signs and traffic patterns, contribute to a wide range of accident types:

  • Stop sign non-compliance: This is one of the most common types of bicycle accidents. Motorists are less likely to pay attention to a bicycle than motor vehicles. 
  • Right turn: This can occur when a cyclist and a motorist are approaching a stop sign or a light together. Upon stopping, the motorist turns right and hits the bicyclist, often in a bicycle lane.
  • Left turn: Occasionally, motorists turn left at an intersection and hit cyclists coming from the opposite direction. Even though it is not an excuse, many motorists say they did not see the cyclist before turning.

Intersection Accidents: How to Prevent Them

Bicyclists should maintain high visibility at intersections to avoid accidents. Bicyclists can be more visible at crossroads by wearing bright-colored clothing, using reflective tape or keeping their front and rear lights on.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Injury severity in bicycle accidents varies from minor scrapes to life-threatening injuries. Examples include:

  • Head injuries: Concussion and subdural hematoma are injuries suffered by bicyclists who strike their heads on the ground without wearing a helmet. While most concussions resolve with rest, hematomas on the brain may require surgery.
  • Facial trauma: When bicyclists hit their faces, they will likely suffer serious injuries, including fractures, broken teeth and jaws. Such injuries can require extensive reconstructive surgery.
  • Neck trauma: Bicycle accidents can injure the neck, including tendon, muscle and ligament damage. It may also result in a herniated disk injury.
  • Broken bones: A bone fracture can occur in any part of the body. For example, those affecting the femur and the pelvis often require surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
  • Spinal cord injury: Paralysis can result from a spinal cord injury. The extent of paralysis depends on where the spinal cord was damaged.
  • Wrongful death: Bicyclists may die as a result of negligent drivers. To recover damages, the family may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Roeser Law Firm

Injuries in bicycle accidents can be severe. If this happens to you, call the Roeser Law Firm for help. We can be reached at (202) 660-4070, or you can contact us online to schedule a free case review. We can review your accident, answer your questions and give you the options you have moving forward.

Zeke Roeser


3000 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 140
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 660-4070