In data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 30% of bicycle accidents that result in injuries were caused by collisions with cars. Rear end crashes are the most common, followed by side crashes, T-bone collisions, and then head-on crashes. Bicycle crashes are a serious issue, and the major culprit – driver error – must be addressed.
Drivers tend to collide with bicycles due to:
- Distracted driving (such as texting while driving, not paying attention to the road)
- Drunk driving
- Unsafe left turns at intersections
- Dangerous merging into the path of cyclists
- Sudden lane changes without checking for cyclists
- Failure to check the rear when backing out of a driveway or parking space
When drivers fail to operate their vehicles in a safe and lawful manner, they must be held responsible for their actions.
Bicycle Safety Tips
While we cannot control another driver’s actions, bicyclists can take extra precautions that may be able to help avoid a serious accident.
Remember these tips when you are bicycling in the city:
- Stop behind the crosswalk
- Don’t use headphones (you’ll need to keep your eyes alert)
- Add reflectors and lights
- Ride with the flow of traffic
- Follow traffic lights and signals
According to a report by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 52,000 cyclists were injured in traffic accidents in 2008 alone, a 21% increase from the previous year. Bicyclists are at a particular risk of injury or death in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle, due to the sheer size of a typical car or truck versus the size and weight of a bicycle.
A bicycle rider, even with a helmet and protective gear, is likely to sustain broken bones, back injuries, injury to internal organs, head trauma and more. These injuries will result in medical bills and the possibility of physical therapy and continued medical care to make a full recovery, and some injuries may result in permanent damage.
In the face of the devastating consequences of a serious bicycle accident, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can assist you. By looking over the circumstances of your accident and your injuries, a legal professional can determine whether you may take legal action against the responsible driver.
This is particularly valuable because an attorney will understand what factors to take into account when determining the value of your claim, and a Tampa bicycle accident lawyer will then be able to take the appropriate action necessary to maximize your financial recovery.
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