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Are Bicycle Accidents More Common in the Summer?

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Posted on July 1, 2023

Riding a bicycle is a healthy and eco-friendly choice for transportation within a community. It’s also been a favorite summer activity for generations. Warm weather, sunshine, and the call of the open road are also an open invitation to climb onto a bicycle and go for a ride—sometimes with the whole family. But with more people outdoors and enjoying summertime activities, are bicycle accidents more common in the summer?

Before you get on a bicycle this summer, it’s important to understand the safety concerns when it comes to bike riding during the warm-weather season.

Do Bicycle Accidents Increase During the Summer Months?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 966 bicycle accident fatalities in 2021 and thousands of injuries. Traffic data also shows that bicycle accident numbers increase during the summer months. Not only are people more likely to choose to ride a bike to a local destination during warm weather, and many more families are out enjoying bike rides together, but there are also increased risks on the road associated with the more relaxed atmosphere and increase in tourism during the summer months. Cyclists should practice extra precautions when bike riding during the summer season.

Why Are There Greater Risks of Bike Accidents in the Summer?

The summer months bring increased traffic to both urban and rural roadways. When the weather is warm and inviting, many more people travel to unfamiliar locations for vacations and spend more time out of their homes and driving to local destinations to enjoy the warm weather season. Increased traffic congestion combined with greater numbers of cyclists on the road leads to more traffic accidents involving cyclists. Other summer contributors to higher bicycle accident numbers include:

  • Increased numbers of intoxicated drivers due to vacationing and summer social gatherings
  • More distractions related to increased social activities
  • More road construction takes place during mild summer weather in northern climates
  • More inexperienced teen drivers are on the road during school vacations
  • More children ride to friend’s homes and activities during summer break
  • There’s an increased risk of tire blowouts from hot pavement

When there’s a collision between a 4,000-pound metal vehicle and an unenclosed cyclist, the injuries to the bike rider are often catastrophic and life-altering, if not fatal. 

What Types of Bicycle Accidents Occur During the Summer?

Overall cycling accidents increase between the months of June and September, including falls, heatstroke-related cyclist injuries, collisions with motor vehicles, and car accidents. A car door accident occurs when a driver parks a car and then doesn’t check for cyclists before opening their door, causing the bike rider to collide with the door. Injuries in car-dooring accidents can be severe since cyclists often fly over the door to the pavement below.

Preventing Bicycle Accidents

Cyclists should always wear bike helmets and reflective clothing. Adding brightly colored clothing helps increase visibility during bright, sunny summer weather. Cyclists should always familiarize themselves with traffic laws in the area in which they plan to ride before setting off for a ride.

Drivers can minimize their chances of being involved in an accident with a cyclist by carefully following traffic laws, remaining vigilant to bike riders on the roadways, and double-checking blind spots before making lane changes. Always check for the presence of cyclists before opening car doors after streetside parking. When a driver makes an error that results in injury to a cyclist, they are liable for damages.

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, make sure to contact our San Diego bicycle accident attorneys at Haffner & Morgan today for a free consultation.