The Dangers of Distracted Driving and How It Affects Cyclists

Distracted driving and bicycle accidents are a serious issue everywhere, but especially in Washington D.C. In 2021, there were 20 pedestrians and cyclists killed in D.C., which comes out to a fatality every 18 days. These statistics paint a grim picture of what can happen when drivers are not paying attention or cyclists aren’t given the space they deserve on the road. Understanding distracted driving and how you can stay safe as a cyclist is important.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving and How It Affects Cyclists

The Devastating Consequences of Distracted Driving

It’s something we’ve probably all done at one time or another – checked a text message while driving, taken our eyes off the road to adjust the radio station, or even just daydreamed. However, when we take our eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, we not only put ourselves in danger but also those around us. Here’s how distracted driving can affect cyclists and everyone else that is impacted by an accident:

Long-Term Impact on Accident Victims & Families

Many car accidents caused by distracted drivers often result in permanent damage or death for those involved. This means that victims must live with debilitating injuries for their entire lives, as well as having their families suffer through emotional trauma as a result of their loved one’s pain and suffering. 

Injuries And Fatalities Resulting From Distracted Driving Accidents

One of the most serious consequences of distracted driving is injury or death resulting from an accident caused by someone who wasn’t paying attention to the road ahead of them. 

This leads to serious accidents which could have been easily avoided with more attention being paid while behind the wheel. Because cyclists lack any sort of protection from a vehicle, they are especially vulnerable when drivers are not paying close attention to the roads around them.

The most severe injuries a cyclist suffers from when getting hit by a motor vehicle include the following: 

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered one of the most serious types of injuries caused by vehicle collisions. Cyclists who have been struck by a motor vehicle run the risk of suffering a TBI due to their lack of protection and the force associated with such an impact.

Even if they are wearing a helmet, they may still suffer from a concussion or other form of TBI due to the severity of the crash. Symptoms associated with TBIs can range from mild dizziness to severe memory loss and cognitive impairment.

Broken Bones

Another common type of injury suffered by those involved in cycling accidents is broken bones, which can occur anywhere on your body depending on how you were impacted by a moving vehicle. Broken arms, legs, pelvis, ribs, spine are all possible outcomes when someone is hit by a car or truck while riding their bike. Depending on how severe your break is and its location on your body, surgery may be required to repair it properly.


Paralysis is another serious injury that can result from cycling accidents involving cars and trucks. It varies in degree – some individuals may experience full paralysis while others might only experience partial paralysis, depending on where nerve damage occurred along their spinal cord.

What To Do After An Accident With A Distracted Driver

After seeking medical treatment for any injuries sustained in an accident with a distracted driver, you should contact law enforcement and file a report right away. Filing a police report will create an official record of the accident which could end up being important if there is ever any dispute over who was at fault for causing the crash. 

Having this kind of evidence on hand could make it easier for your lawyer to prove your case against the other driver and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages related to the collision. 

Additionally, try not to speak with anyone from either insurance company until after you have consulted with an experienced lawyer about your case, no matter how friendly or helpful they appear to be. Even seemingly harmless statements like “I’m sorry for what happened” can be used against you later during settlement negotiations or even trial proceedings. 

It’s always best practice not to speak with anyone from either insurance company without having first consulted with an attorney about your case, or better yet, having them do all the communicating on your behalf.

If you’ve been injured while riding your bicycle due to someone else’s negligence while driving, you shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses related to your recovery. For help, contact our Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation.