Bicyclists Often the Ones Injured or Killed in Traffic Accidents
Statistics show the overall number of bicycle accidents in the country is declining; however, the number of bike accidents fatalities are on the rise. In most states, the bicycle is legally considered as a vehicle. Bicyclists have equal rights on the road and must obey the same traffic laws as the operators of vehicles. Cyclists and drivers both make mistakes that can cause a crash, but when a crash happens involving a cyclist and a car, truck, or bus, it is the cyclist who is likely to be injured or killed.
Most frequent causes of bicyclists injured or killed in traffic accidents
The majority of bike accidents are caused by motor vehicle operators. Here are the most frequent causes:
- A driver turning right into the path of a bicycle traveling in the same direction. The driver may neglect to use a turn signal. Not using a turn signal is why many cyclists will cross an intersection in the middle. In most jurisdictions, a vehicle turning right is required to yield to a cyclist going straight through an intersection.
- Failure to yield. Drivers often look for vehicles but miss bicycles. The cyclist coming through the intersection has the right of way over a motorist turning left, unless there’s a green left-turn signal.
- A driver rear-ending a cyclist. This is the most common cause of drunk-driving accidents involving bicycles.
- Driver inattention. A driver sideswipes or opens a door in front of a bicyclist due to failure to pay attention.
Impatient drivers cause many conflicts and crashes. When you encounter a bicycle, observe the roadway. Once you have determined it is safe and necessary to pass, give the cyclist plenty of space. The law requires at least three feet.
Bicyclists can help prevent injury and death from motor vehicles
Stay focused and alert to the road and the traffic around you. Ride with the flow and in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey all street signs and signals.
- Look ahead for hazards or situations that could cause you to fall, like potholes, grates, train tracks or other obstacles.
- Be free of all distraction that takes your attention off the road and traffic.
If you or someone you know has been the victim in a bicycle accident with a motorist, please call Goldberg Persky & White at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and one of our attorneys will evaluate your case at no charge.