Important Things to Know About Cycling Accidents
Bicycling is a fairly popular form of transportation. It is efficient and environmentally friendly. As with nearly all forms of transportation, however, bicycling comes with risks that can threaten your safety and well-being. Because bicycles do not provide outer protection like cars and other motor vehicles usually do, being in a bicycle accident can result in extremely serious injuries.
How Common are Cycling Accidents?
Most reported cycling accidents are due to individual fault rather than vehicular collisions. These solo accidents often occur due to potholes or other hazards on the ground. Collisions involving cars and bikes do happen, however, and when they do, the resulting damage can be serious and life-threatening.
Because bicycles are more lightweight and less protected than cars, the bicyclist almost always receives worse injuries than the driver. In comparison to occupants of motor vehicles, bicyclists face a much higher risk of serious injury and death. As a result, car-on-bike accidents are usually severe.
What are the Traffic Laws for Bicyclists?
Bicyclists are not exempt from traffic laws, and they must follow most of the same laws as motor vehicle drivers. They are still required to yield for pedestrians, make safe lane changes, and obey all traffic signals. In addition to following typical motor vehicle laws, there are also bicycle-specific laws by which cyclists must abide. For example, in Arizona, bicyclists must attach a white light in the front of their bike and reflective lights on both ends if they wish to ride at night. Failure to do so is a violation of the law, and threatens a cyclist’s safety. Other local ordinances regulate where and how bicycles can be operated.
How is Fault Determined in Bicycle Collisions Involving Cars?
Because cyclists are expected to obey traffic laws, they can also be at fault for vehicular collisions. Fault is negligence which causes an injury. In Arizona, fault may be placed solely on one party, or split between parties. Arizona follows the “comparative fault” rule, wherein 100% fault can be attributed to one or more actors, each being responsible for their respective percentage of fault for the damages caused.
How can You Prevent Bike Accidents?
Accidents can be avoided by staying alert and obeying traffic laws. Even in instances in which you, a bicyclist, have the right of way, it is vital to be wary of cars because they can inflict more damage. Furthermore, you should wear a helmet when riding your bike, and use reflective/ bright lights when riding in the dark. Always know the local ordinances in addition to the general traffic laws. By taking reasonable safety measures on the road, you can significantly decrease your chances of getting in an accident.
Have You Been Involved in a Cycling Accident?
If you have been injured in a cycling accident, it is important that you contact a personal injury lawyer so that you are aware of your legal rights. Our team at Wattel and York is here to help. Located in Chandler, Arizona, our skilled attorneys can help guide you through the entire legal process, and ensure the best possible outcome. To schedule a free consultation with our team, you can either contact our office through our website or contact our office at (480) 222-2020 today.