Bicycle-Motor Vehicle Accidents
Thousands of people are injured or killed every year riding a bicycle. These types of accidents can end with the most devastating results. The difference between the size and weight of a bicycle to a motor vehicle and without a surrounding structure may cause the bicyclist to endure serious, debilitating injuries.
Accidents involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle are commonly the consequence of the inattention of a driver’s failure to give the right of way to a cyclist. There are situations where accidents are more common. Following some safety tips will help to avoid bicycle and motor vehicle accidents.
The Right Cross
The Right Cross happens when a vehicle pulls out of an alley, side street, parking lot or a driveway to the right of the cyclist. The hazardous situation is the cyclist has passed the front of the vehicle causing the vehicle to hit the bike. The vehicle may pull out so far that it blocks the biker’s right of way, giving the slightest chance the bike would have time to stop and avoid colliding into the side of the car.
How To Avoid Collisions
Being more visible is always in a bicyclist’s best interest. Add a flashing light or a headlight of the front of the bike and using it during the day will help you be more visible. Wearing bright clothing can also help bicyclists to be more visible. Cyclists should be defensive drivers by anticipating vehicles pulling out in front of them or pulling out to the right of them. Always try to make eye contact with the driver ensuring that you are seen. Be prepared to swerve or stop in the event the driver does not see you.
Violated Laws By The Driver
The vehicle driver is usually careless or negligent for failing to yield to the bicyclist’s right of way. People riding bicycles are given the rights of a motor vehicle. They also are responsible for the laws that apply to a vehicle driver. Cyclist and vehicle drivers both need to follow the traffic laws. Watching for the care to yourself and others on the road is a duty all bicyclists and motorists share.
The Right Hook
The right hook occurs when a bicycle rider is at the front of a cross street and is hit because the vehicle driver did not see the bicyclist as the driver was turning right. Another accident situation occurs when the vehicle driver cuts off the bicyclist when the driver is turning right at an intersection and forgets about the bicyclist, overtaking the bicycle, or by not giving them enough space. This will cause the cyclist to crash into the side of the vehicle.
A bicycle should stay farther in the left side of the lane, causing motor vehicle drivers to pass more consciously. If the bicycle gets cut off, there will be more room to the left to swerve to keep from being hit.
The Rear End
Bicyclists are very concerned about rear end collisions and the resulting injuries. It is a common collision on the roadway, and is the most detrimental type of accident for bicyclists. Rear end collisions are a leading cause of injuries or deaths to bicyclists.
It is critical that the bicyclists take every precaution to be highly visible for this reason. Choosing the safest routes and the safest time of the day to ride is important. Vehicle drivers should keep a safe distance when passing a bicycle. Traffic laws do require drivers to be mindful and observe the right of way for other vehicles. This includes bicycles.
The Left Cross
The left cross happens when a vehicle is traveling in the opposite way and proceeds to turn left in front of the bicyclist. This will crash the left side of the bike or it will cut off the bicycle altogether. To avoid this situation, bicyclists should stay off the sidewalks intended only for pedestrians. The cyclist should be riding defensively and scanning ahead for potential dangerous situations.
Rights for Bicyclists
Bikes do have the same rights as motor vehicles. Because a bicycle is substituted for a car does not change the responsibility of the motor vehicle driver in the regarding of the right of way for bicyclists.
If a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle occurs and happens to involve a child, the courts will hold the adult in the motor vehicle to a higher level of responsibility.
Bicycle Accident Liabilities
Accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles can implicate some severe injuries and enormous liabilities. Motor vehicle and bicycle accident lawsuits are determined by which party was reckless or negligent in the occurrence. Accident lawsuits are determined by each specific individual case. An eyewitness testimony or other factors will be used to decide the case.
If you or a family member have been involved in a bicycle accident, you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer specializing in bicycle accidents to protect you or your loved one’s rights.