What Percent of Bicycle Accidents in Tennessee Involve an Automobile?

There are plenty of residents and visitors throughout Tennessee who enjoy riding bicycles. Whether a person is an occasional recreational rider or someone who uses their bicycle as their day-to-day transportation, they have to be mindful of safety. The reality is that bicycle accidents do occur, and they are often caused by the careless or negligent actions of other drivers on the roadways. Here, our personal injury lawyers in Nashville want to discuss what percentage of bicycle accidents involve an automobile. These incidents often result in significant injuries for the bicyclist.

Vehicles and Bicycles – A Potentially Deadly CombinationVehicles and Bicycles – A Potentially Deadly Combination

Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that approximately 30% of all bicycle accident injuries occur after a bicyclist is struck by a vehicle. Unfortunately, many vehicle drivers fail to pay attention to their surroundings. This is especially true when it comes to bicycles. Most drivers are diligent when it comes to being aware of other vehicles, but not so much with bicyclists. It is not uncommon for these incidents to be caused by drivers:

  • Failing to yield the right of way to a bicyclist
  • Following a bicyclist too closely
  • Recklessly passing a bicyclist too closely
  • Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Operating while distracted by phones or other devices

Other Causes of Bicycle Accidents

However, bicycle accident injuries do not only occur after a cyclist is struck by a car. As mentioned above, 30% of bicyclist injuries occur as a result of a vehicle collision. But what about the other 70%?

  • Collisions with other bicyclists
  • Collisions with fixed objects such as trees or poles
  • Improperly maintained roadways, sidewalks, or bike paths
  • General bicyclist carelessness

Regardless of how a bicycle accident occurs, an unfortunate reality is that bicyclists can sustain severe injuries as a result of these incidents. Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet, they are incredibly exposed to dangerous conditions. An impact with the vehicle or a fixed object can result in significant injuries, including the following:

  • Fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Other severe back or neck injury
  • Road rash or lacerations
  • Significant scarring or disfigurement

What Does Tennessee Data Show?

When we look at data available from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, we can see that there were 370 total bicycle crashes reported across Tennessee during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were twelve fatal collisions and 317 injury-causing collisions. This data is revealing because it shows that a significant portion of accidents that involve vehicles and bicycles result in some sort of injury or fatality.

However, this data does not show us accidents that are not reported to the police and those that do not involve vehicles. The reality is that there are many bicycle accidents that do not get reported because they involve something other than a vehicle.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver in Tennessee, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in Nashville will be able to handle every aspect of these claims, including investigating the incident, determining liability, and handling all negotiations with insurance carriers.