When a bicyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, the injuries can be catastrophic and even fatal. Bicycle operators have a right to bring lawsuits against operators of vehicles that strike them or injure them.
Are Bicycle Accidents Common?
Over the past few years, there has been a spike in bicycle accidents, especially in urban areas. This is due to an increase in biking popularity as city-dwellers look for economically efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to their transportation needs.
In fact, 2015 saw more bicyclist fatalities than any year in the past two decades.
Other facts and statistics to consider are:
- In 2015, a total of 817 bicyclists were killed in crashes involving a motor vehicle a 13 percent increase from 2014
- Bicyclist deaths represent two percent of all motor vehicle traffic crash deaths
- 24 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- 70 percent of bicyclists were killed in urban areas
- 35 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred at intersections
How Do Bicycle Accidents Occur?
Bicycle accidents are almost always preventable, especially in incidents involving motor vehicles. When a car strikes a bicyclists, oftentimes it is because the driver was inattentive, reckless, or negligent. Common examples of this include:
- Drivers backing out of driveways without looking for bicyclists
- Drivers turning (left or right) without checking for bicyclists approaching
- Drivers ignoring traffic signs and speed limits
- Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists on the road
- Drunk of impaired driving
As a Driver, What Steps Can I Take to Prevent Bicycle Accidents?
According to yieldtolife, here are a few tips for motorists to help keep bicyclists safe on the roadways.
- Treat bicyclists like other slow-moving cars on the roads. Cyclists are allowed to ride on the road.
- Be cautious while passing cyclists. Be sure you have ample space before doing so.
- Keep an eye out for bicyclists behind you while attempting right turns.
- When attempting a left turn, watch for bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction.
- Look for cyclists when backing out of your driveway.
- Before opening your car door after parallel parking, make sure no cyclists are approaching.
What Should I Do If I am Involved in a Bicycle Accident?
The actions you take following a bicycle accident are very important has they can help preserve evidence and strengthen your claim for compensation. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, you should:
- File a police report. Even if you do not think you are injured at the time of the accident, you may feel the effects hours or days later.
- Obtain driver and witness contact information. Be sure to get this information even if police have already included it in their report.
- Document what happened. Take pictures at the scene. As soon as possible after the accident, write down everything you can remember about what happened.
- Preserve evidence. Don’t get your bike fixed or replace your helmet.
- Decide how to proceed. If you decide to hire a bicycle accident attorney, do not talk to any insurance company until you have spoken with your attorney.
Contact an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced automobile and bicycle injury lawyers have handled a multitude of accident cases and have achieved record-breaking, real results for injured clients. We ensure that you are in the best position possible to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for your case. You can recover compensation for medical expenses, your pain and suffering, and lost wages form missing work. Our injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim. Contact us today for a free case review.