In 2016, over 18,000 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents. Only 16% of fatal or serious accidents were reported as not involving a collision with another vehicle.
It is the duty of both the rider and driver to follow the laws of the road and traffic regulations, although there are specific laws to help protect bicycle riders when sharing the road with other motor vehicles. In general, a cyclist must ride as far to the right side of the road as possible or in a designated bike lane if provided. This is referred to as the “side-of-road” law. The cyclist may leave the side of the road or bike lane if it becomes too narrow to safely maneuver with passing cars, to make a left turn, or to avoid road hazards.
The most common types of traffic accidents involving bikes:
Hitting the opening door of a parked car
In the case of an accident being caused by the opening of a parked car door, it is almost always at the fault of the person opening the door. Given that cyclists are required to ride to the side of the road close to parked cars, it is the duty of the car door opener to only open the door when it is reasonably safe to do so.
A companion rule to the side of road rules requires motor vehicles to maintain a safe space while passing. In other words, the driver has the responsibility to not pass a cyclist unless it is safe to do so. Meaning, the diver may need to slow down or wait until there is enough space to pass.
Of the auto accidents involving a bicycle, 45% take place in intersections. Both the driver and cyclist can be equally responsible for an accident. Negligence is determined by who broke the rules of the road, which generally boils down to who had the right of way.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, call our experienced personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.