Bicycling Season in Full Swing
With the end of summer, many parts of the country see a surge in bicyclists hitting the roadways. That also means a rise in bicycle collisions with cars and trucks. Bicyclists generally come out on the short end of those encounters.
Bicyclists have the same rights—and responsibilities—on the road as motorists. If motorists are negligent or reckless and cause injury to a bicyclist, a bicyclist can be compensated for medical bills, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering. Bicyclists might forfeit or receive reduced compensation if they are at least partially responsible for the accident (contributory or comparative negligence).
To avoid potential bicycle-car collisions and reduce injuries:
- Wear brightly colored clothing, and make sure your bike has lights and reflectors to improve nighttime visibility.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Follow all the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs and traffic lights; never ride on the wrong side of the street; signal your intentions; yield the right of way, and never ride intoxicated.
- Be mindful that nearly two-thirds of bicyclist injuries and fatalities occur at intersections. “T” intersections are the most hazardous, followed by roundabouts.
- When bicycling past parked cars, be on the lookout for drivers opening their doors to exit their vehicles (“dooring”).
If you are involved in a bicycle-car collision and injuries appear to be nonexistent or minor, seek medical attention anyway, as adrenaline can mask injuries. Some injuries don’t become evident for days or even weeks, and seemingly minor injuries sometimes lead to severe disabilities.
A bicyclist injured by a negligent driver should contact a bicycle accident attorney to protect their rights.