Being injured in a bicycle accident is devastating.
Bicycles don’t offer the same protection as cars: they don’t have seat belts or airbags, and they don’t have a metal frame protecting the rider. As a result, bicycle accidents are frequently serious, even deadly.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, you’re not alone. In the U.S., 726 people were killed in a bicycle accident, and another 49,000 were injured. In Alabama, 9 people were killed in 2012.
About two-thirds of these accidents happen in urban areas, and a little more than half happen in intersections. Accidents are more likely to occur at night, when drivers are less likely to see bicyclists.
Bicycles are considered vehicles in the eyes of the law. They are required to obey the same rules of the road as any other vehicle—whether a car, truck, or motorcycle. When on the street, bicycles must move in the same direction as traffic.
Unfortunately, though bicyclists are required to obey the same rules, they often don’t get the same considerations as drivers of motor vehicles. Few roads have bike lanes, and because of this, bicyclists are forced to ride in tandem with faster, far more dangerous vehicles. As a result, bicycle-car crashes occur frequently.
Crashes often happen in intersections when either the cyclist or the driver fail to yield the right of way. Crashes caused by the driver turning are also common. Drivers making left turns into the intersection may hit oncoming cyclists. And drivers making right turns may cut off or hit cyclists going the same direction.
Drivers who are distracted or drunk also pose a serious threat to law-abiding bicyclists.
Bicycle accidents are also frequently caused by road hazards. Because they are smaller and less stable than cars (which are heavier and have four wheels), road hazards can be especially treacherous. Potholes, sewer grates, and railroad tracks can cause a cyclist to fall or even be thrown into the path of a car.
As a cyclist, it’s your job to follow the rules of the road and ride in a safe manner. However, you are not responsible for—and can’t control—the behavior of other drivers and the condition of the road.
If your accident was caused by a careless driver or an improperly maintained road, you may be able to hold the driver or the government responsible.
Bicycle accident resource pages:
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., we’re here to help cyclists get the compensation they need to rebuild their lives after a crash. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you a fee until and unless we make a recovery for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Huntsville, AL.