Slater & Zurz Injury law firm


Request a Free Consultation

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Ohio (and How to Avoid Them)

Accident car crash with bicycle on road

Bicycling is not just a form of exercise or a leisure activity; for many in Ohio, it’s a lifestyle and a preferred mode of transportation. 

That said, whether you’re navigating the bustling streets of Columbus or enjoying the scenic views along the Ohio River, cycling comes with its risks. In 2023 alone, Ohio recorded 1,264 bicycle accidents—the highest number of accidents in the state since 2019.

As more cyclists hit the road to take advantage of the warming weather, it’s essential to understand the common causes of bicycle accidents and how to prevent them. 

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Ohio


Doorings occur when a parked car’s door opens suddenly in front of a cyclist. While Ohio doesn’t keep records on dooring incidents, data from other cities reveal that they typically make up 20% of all cycling accidents

To avoid doorings, cyclists should ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars, and drivers should always check for oncoming cyclists before opening their doors. 

Right Hooks

Right hooks happen when a car turns right, intersecting the cyclist’s path. This maneuver is a common cause of serious accidents, especially in urban areas where cyclists and motorists often share close quarters.

Road Hazards

Potholes, cracks, and uneven surfaces can significantly contribute to accidents. These hazards are particularly dangerous as they can cause cyclists to lose control or make unexpected swerves, increasing the risk of collisions.

Intersection Accidents

Intersections are notorious for being accident hotspots due to the complex interactions between cyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicles. Miscommunication and failure to yield are common causes of accidents in these areas.

How to Avoid Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Stay Visible

According to data from the Highway Patrol, most bicycle crashes in Ohio occur between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays. This time frame coincides with the evening rush hour, when roads are busier, and visibility might be reduced. 

Visibility is key to avoiding most of the common causes of bicycle accidents. Wear bright clothing, invest in reflective gear, and add lights to your bicycle to make yourself more visible to drivers, especially if you’re riding at dawn, dusk, or night.

Communicate with Drivers

Use hand signals to communicate your intentions to drivers. Making eye contact at intersections can also ensure that drivers are aware of your presence.

Know and Follow the Rules

Understanding and adhering to traffic laws is crucial. Simple acts like signaling before you turn and respecting stop signs can protect you and those around you. 

Wear Protective Gear

Always wear a helmet—even better, consider additional protective gear like gloves and elbow pads. In the unfortunate event of an accident, this can mean the difference between a minor injury and a life-changing one.

Take a Cycling Safety Course

A cycling safety course is more than just a class; it’s an investment in your life on the road. These courses equip you with not just the basics of road safety but also the advanced strategies needed to confidently navigate complex traffic scenarios. 

Building a Safer Cycling Future

Nobody wants to become a statistic, and the state is well aware of the need for safer roads for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Columbus, for example, has invested $100 million to build a two-mile bike path in the hopes of making the city more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly. 

Until then, familiarize yourself with the common causes of bicycle accidents and take proactive measures to avoid them each time you set out on your ride. Preventing bicycle accidents requires a combination of personal vigilance and adherence to traffic laws. 

And remember: despite our best efforts, accidents can still happen. If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, but knowing the next steps can make a major difference in safeguarding your safety and rights. Check out our guide on what to do if a bike accident happens to arm yourself with knowledge and confidence for every ride.