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Bicyclists Face Higher Risk for Personal Injury or Death than Car Occupants

May 2, 2014

Bicyclists have the same rights to public roadways as those driving motor vehicles. This privilege for the over 90 million that ride bikes in the U.S. also means they must abide by the same set of rules and responsibilities as motorists. To effectively share the road, bicyclists must be able to ride with traffic, yield, stop at stop signs, signal turns, avoid hazards, and position themselves in their lane properly.

On average, 800 to 1,000 cyclists die from crashes with automobiles every year. A staggering 500,000 emergency room visits for bicycle-related injuries were made in 2010 alone. These figures should serve as a call to action for cyclists to better protect themselves from the most common accident situations.

The most frequent cause of a bicycle-related accident is a motorist’s failure to yield which accounts for about 30% of accidents. These situations can arise when a driver makes a left turn into, or in front of, a bicyclist or when a driver pulls out from a stop sign into a bicyclist’s right of way. To minimize this risk, cyclists should ride further away from the curb so drivers are more likely to see them. A cyclist’s failure to yield when coming out of driveways, running stop signs, or making a left in front of a car causes another 30% of bicycle-related accidents.  This can be prevented when cyclists take a little extra time to stop at stop signs and make sure traffic is clear in all directions.

Simple rules of thumb like equipping your bike with lights at night and riding with traffic can prevent over a quarter of all bicycle crashes. It is required by law for cyclists to ride with and not against traffic. Cyclists can also be hit from behind by overtaking cars or possibly drunk drivers. It’s important for a cyclist to either have a rear-view mirror or be able to look over your shoulder comfortably.

Motorists should not try to squeeze past cyclists, but instead wait for adequate clearance before attempting an overtake maneuver. Motorists in parked cars should also refrain from opening their as a cyclist is approaching. This illegal action accounts for five percent of accidents and is considered the motorist’s fault. Remaining aware of these potential hazards is vital for both cyclists and motorists to share the roadway safely.

Philadelphia Personal Injury Law at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Pursue Just Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims

Cyclists are highly vulnerable on the roadway and a negligent act by a motorist can cause long-lasting damage. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. have a successful track record of securing for their clients substantial recoveries for medical bills, bicycle damage, private treatment, and loss of earnings. Our lawyers represent clients in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas including Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County and Chester County. Call us at 215-569-9100 to schedule a free consultation or fill out a free online contact form.