Maryland Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Did you know the first automobile collision in American history happened in New York City in 1896 and involved a motor vehicle killing a cyclist? More than a century later, bicycle crashes continue to occur on our roadways on a daily basis. With little to protect him or her, the cyclist is always the one who gets badly injured. Recent studies have shown that the car driver is at fault for car versus bicycle accidents the majority of the time.
What are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
- Car drivers pulling out of a parking spot or driveway neglect to look for cyclists
- Drivers’ failure to look out for bicyclists at stop signs
- Cars turning directly in front of the bicycle.
- A motor vehicle running a stop sign or red light when a cyclist is at the intersection
The MD injury attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can investigate the scene of the collision, speak to witnesses and examine the bicycle to establish liability for your injuries.
Additional Factors in a Bicycle Crash Cases
- Even if there is no actual collision between the car and the bike, a motorist can still be held responsible for the bicycle crash. An example is when a bicyclist gets cut off by a driver.
- Your auto insurance policy may cover you if you have been injured by a negligent driver while riding your bicycle.
Insurance company adjusters and attorneys will always fight hard to reduce the value of your claim. It is important that you have someone working just as hard on your side, looking out for your best interests. Proving who is liable for the crash is the first major hurdle in acquiring compensation for the victim’s losses. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation to cover pain and suffering, hospital bills, bike repairs or replacement, rehabilitation fees and even loss of wages. Bicyclists in traffic are allowed the same right-of-way privileges that motor vehicles enjoy and yet they are often ignored or overlooked. Negligent driving causes between 600 and 800 fatal bicycle crashes in the United States each year.
Bicycling Safety Tips
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does a study each year to determine how many bicycle accidents, injuries and deaths occur in the United States. In 2008, 716 bicyclists died and 52,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic collisions in the Unites States. Most crashes happened at intersections (64 percent) and in urban areas (69 percent). Drivers either have a harder time seeing bicyclists because they are smaller than other vehicles, or they are simply not looking for them. Distracted and negligent drivers are a real hazard to bicyclists.
There are a number of steps you can take to help lessen your injuries or to prevent an injury altogether.
Wear a Helmet
Just as drivers are always told to wear a seatbelt, bicycle riders should always wear a helmet. A helmet is the single best way to lessen or prevent serious injuries from a biking collision. Head injuries accounted for over 62 percent of biking fatalities. Yet, the U.S government conducted a Gallup poll and discovered that half of all bicyclists wear a helmet sometimes and only 35 percent of riders wear a helmet most of the time. Be safe, ALWAYS wear a helmet.
Get a Headlight
If you ride at night, you should definitely get a headlight for your bicycle. When you are near an intersection, oncoming traffic may not see you. If you have a headlight, there is a much greater chance you will be spotted.
Ride with Traffic
Common wisdom may tell you to ride against traffic so that you can see oncoming vehicles. This is dangerous. Cars pulling out of driveways or turning onto the street may not look both ways for traffic. They are probably only watching for cars that will impede their ability to enter traffic. Once their way is clear they will turn, perhaps without looking the other way, and you could get hit. Also, if a car hits you head on, the speed of the collision will be greater. Some studies suggest your risk of being hit is seven times greater if you are riding against traffic.
Don’t Stop in a Blind Spot
If you pull up alongside a car at an intersection, make sure they can see you. If the car is expecting to turn right and doesn’t see you, you run the risk of being hit when the light changes or the car chooses to turn on red. At an intersection it is much safer to ride behind a car.
Make Yourself Seen
Consider wearing a reflective vest or a safety triangle. Reflective gear can make you more visible during the night or during the day. You can never been too careful when on the road. Be careful if choosing to ride on sidewalks. Often cars may not be able to see you when you cross the road if you are entering from the sidewalk. A rear light is also a worthwhile purchase.
Call Alpert Schreyer, LLC Today
Bicycle riding is a healthy and environmentally safe way to travel. However, if you do not take these safety precautions, it can also be dangerous. Please use caution whenever taking to the street. If you or a loved one is hit by a motor vehicle, you may be eligible for compensation. The traffic accident lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC help protect the rights of bicyclists in and around Maryland. We will provide you with a free consultation. Simply call 1 (844)-MDCRASH or 1 (844) 632-7274 and we will review your case and potential injury claim.