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Bicycle Collisions

Many people ride bicycles. People do it as a cheap and convenient way to travel short distances, for exercising, or just to ride for fun. Whatever the reason, people should note that you still have to take caution when riding a bike, just as you would driving a car. Bicycles on the roadway are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.

One way to avoid a bicycle collision is by making sure you follow traffic laws and ride safely.

This includes:

  • Wearing a helmet that fits properly while riding

  • Having a white front light, red rear light, and reflectors on your bike for when you ride at night or in places where visibility is poor

  • Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain

  • Making sure you are riding a bike that is your size

  • Making sure you are riding a bike that works with no defects or missing parts

  • Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn

  • Planning your route ahead of time to travel the safest way. You should travel routes with less traffic and slower speeds and make use of bike trails and paths

  • Driving with the flow, in the same direction as traffic

  • Obeying street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a car

  • No texting, listening to music or using anything that distracts you by taking your eyes and ears or your mind off the road and traffic

  • Avoid or minimize sidewalk riding

If you must ride on the sidewalk, still ride in the same direction as traffic, watch for

pedestrians, pass pedestrians by announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or use a bell.

Believe it or not, most bicycle collisions are accidents involving a defect or some other hazard in the road or trail. Collisions between cyclists and automobiles are relatively rare occurrences. However, collisions between cyclists and automobiles are the most dangerous of the three types.

Whatever kind of bicycle collision you are in, there are steps to take to make sure the negligent party is determined and everything gets taken care of. A bicycle crash is almost always the result of somebody’s negligence. The driver’s negligence, the cyclist’s negligence, both the driver and the cyclist, or the local government responsible for the condition of the roads and trails.

If it is a car-bike collision, these are the steps the cyclist must take:

Do not attempt to negotiate with the at-fault driver. The driver may not give you accurate

information about his or her identity, insurance coverage, or vehicle ownership.

Wait for the police, so you have an independent third party at the scene of the collision who has the authority to demand the driver’s identity, registration, and insurance information.

Call the police. Always wait for the police to respond to the accident scene so that an official report will be filed. If the police write an accident report, make sure that it’s accurate. The accident report will include the driver’s statement as well as all other witness statements.

Unfortunately, law enforcement officers don’t always take a statement from the cyclist before

completing their report. Make sure you give your statement to the officer after the collision, if you are able to do so. You should never tell the driver or the police that you are “OK.” It’s very

common for people to assume that they haven’t been seriously injured following a collision, only to have the true extent of their injuries become apparent later.

See a doctor. It’s vitally important for you to see a doctor immediately afterwards. You should

not decide anything about your injuries; let the doctor decide if your injuries are serious or not. And if you are injured, a prompt medical evaluation and treatment for your injuries will establish that you were in fact injured, while the medical records generated by the medical provider will help establish the extent of your injuries.

If it is a bicycle collision caused by a hazard in the road or trail:

  • Take pictures and witness statements

  • File a police report

  • Go to a doctor

  • Consult with a personal injury attorney

If it is a bicycle collision caused by a manufacturing defect:

  • Take pictures of the scene and the bicycle

  • File a police report

  • Go to a doctor

  • Have the bike evaluated by a licensed forensic bicycle engineer

  • Have proof of purchase for bike

  • Consult with a personal injury attorney

If you, or someone you know have been involved in an auto accident, call Your Accident Your Money at (888) 766-6398.

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