With so many people relying on bicycles to get around Portland, there is no wonder that many collisions occur in the city. Portland bicycle accidents can be caused by a number of factors, from negligent drivers to poor road conditions and inclement weather.
Understanding the most likely causes of bicycle accidents can help you protect yourself while riding on Portland roads. Here are some of the most common ways that these accidents occur.
Distracted driving refers to any act that takes a driver away from driving. It can involve visual distractions, which take a person’s eyes away from the road; manual distractions, which take a person’s hands off the steering wheel; and cognitive distractions, which distract the mind from the road.
It is common for a driver to become distracted and fail to see a cyclist on the road. When drivers fail to focus on driving, they can easily collide with a cyclist who is legally crossing the street, making a turn, or traveling in a protected lane.
Dooring occurs when a driver suddenly and recklessly opens his or her door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. The cyclist fails to stop in time and collides with the door, leading to very serious injuries.
This act is especially dangerous as many dooring accidents occur suddenly and without warning, leaving cyclists with little time to react. Sadly, many victims of dooring pass away due to their injuries.
It is highly illegal for a motor vehicle driver to operate a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances impair concentration, reaction time, judgement, motor skills, and many other faculties necessary for safe driving.
Unfortunately, many drivers do get behind the wheel while intoxicated, putting cyclists at risk of severe injury. Drunk drivers may swerve erratically, run red lights, fail to yield the right of way, and even intentionally strike cyclists on the road.
When making a turn, it is important for drivers to check for oncoming cyclists and ensure that no drivers are coming from another direction. However, some drivers do not take the appropriate degree of care while turning, leading to a collision.
For example, a driver may turn left and fail to check for bicyclists coming from another direction, striking a cyclist. A driver turning right may fail to check blind spots for a cyclist, and collide into him or her while recklessly making a turn.
The moments after a Portland bicycle accident can be scary. In these situations, it is important to take steps to protect yourself, collect evidence, and take the first steps toward filing your claim. After your collision, call 911 to report the accident and seek medical care as soon as you can.
If you can, collect evidence at the scene of the accident by taking photographs and speaking to witnesses. Briefly exchange your information with the other driver. Once you receive the care that you need, contact a Portland bicycle accident attorney as soon as you can.
Hiring a lawyer can provide several benefits to your claim, from the ability to negotiate with insurance companies to representing your case in civil court. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to discuss your legal options and strategize your next steps.