One of the scariest things a bicyclist can experience is being hit by an automobile. Even a near-miss can make one question whether they should continue riding or not. Riding a bike is a great form of exercise, is good for the environment, and saves money. It’s no wonder more people are picking up this pastime, especially with skyrocketing gas prices.
Since there are more bicycles on the roads, it is important that automobile drivers keep an eye out and drive carefully. All of us remember bits and pieces from driver’s education class. One of the important revelations some of us may remember is that, when we’re driving, our brain focuses only on the cars around us. It’s an interesting phenomenon, but very true and one of the main reasons why bicyclists and motorcyclists are hit by automobile drivers. You can be the safest driver on the road, but your brain can still play tricks on you.
How can you avoid such bicycle accidents? And, what kind of liability issues are there in North Carolina when it comes to bicycle vs. automobile collisions?
Avoiding the Accident
Cyclists –Maximizing your visibility can go a long way in avoiding an accident. Wear light and/or bright colors during the day and night. Avoid wearing dark colors. Utilize lights and reflectors, both on your clothes (jacket, shoes, and helmet) and on your bike. Learn the rules of the road as they pertain to cyclists and follow them strictly. Be aware of your surroundings and get familiar with the road you’re traveling on. Are there any big potholes or bumps that could cause you to lose control? Do you ride through a busy intersection? Pay attention to such things and you’re less likely to crash.
Drivers –Do your best to be aware of your surroundings, reminding yourself to be conscious of cyclists. Make sure to drive without distractions such as texting or phone calls. Follow the rules of driving and the rules of the road.
Generally, liability depends on who was at fault, who caused the accident. If the cyclist didn’t follow the rules of the road, then they’re at fault; vice versa if it was the driver who didn’t follow the rules.
Unfortunately, things aren’t always so black and white. Next week we will discuss some of the issues surrounding the liability of a bicycle vs. automobile accident.
Anyone can be at fault in a bicycle vs. automobile accident. The driver could’ve been driving recklessly or perhaps distractedly. The cyclist might have been negligent in following bicycle laws. Whatever the case may be, if someone was injured, having a legal representative on your side is vital. If you’re the one who caused the accident or were the one who was injured, both may need an attorney. That’s why the law offices of John C. Fitzpatrick have attorney’s who focus on personal injury cases. We want to be here for you because we believe everyone deserves good representation. Call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experts.