Bicycle Accidents - What You Need to Know

Bicycle Accidents - What You Need to Know

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 850 bicyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. Thousands more are injured every year. Bicycling is a great way to relax, exercise, and have fun. However, since bicyclists do not wear seat belts or have air bags, they are at risk for serious injuries. In a bicycle accident, victims could suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, road rash, burns, lacerations, internal organ damage, paralysis, and accidental amputations.

Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

There are several steps you can take to increase your safety as a bicyclist:

  1. Prepare before every trip. Prior to each trip, it is important to plan your route. If you will be in a heavily trafficked area, make sure there are bike paths you can use to navigate through busy streets. It is also important to ride a bike that is a proper fit for you, and to always wear a helmet.
  2. Practice safe bicycling habits. While on the road, you need to obey all federal and state traffic laws, wear a helmet, and ride in the same direction as traffic. You should avoid riding on the sidewalk, and always look both ways before crossing the street or turning. Using hand signals before making a turn is also important to help avoid an accident.
  3. Increase your visibility to others on the road. Wearing bright colored clothing and reflective vests can increase your visibility to other drivers. Bicycles are small, and are not as easily seen as other cars. Thus, you need to take extra steps to increase your visibility. Having a light on the front and back of your bike and riding in well-lit areas can also help you stay safe.

Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident?

Both bicyclists and drivers are responsible to obey all federal and state traffic laws. Drivers must exercise extreme care on the road to prevent bicycle accidents. They must always leave plenty of room (at least 3 feet of distance) when passing bicyclists, avoid opening a door without checking first, and allow bicyclists to pass before turning in an intersection. Speeding, weaving across lanes of traffic, drifting into bike lanes, and running stop signs are reckless driving behaviors that may cause an accident.

What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention and call 911 immediately. Even if you don’t feel injured, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. You should also request a copy of your medical records to show the nature and extent of your injuries. After an accident, get the contact information of any witnesses, file a police report, and take pictures of all damages and injuries.

Call Our Campbell Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today at (800) 900-0863

At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, we are passionate about upholding justice on behalf of our clients. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, our Campbell bicycle accident lawyers will provide diligent representation for your case. We will gather evidence, answer your questions, and help you hold negligent drivers accountable.

Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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