Drivers Sharing the Road
Cycling is a convenient and inexpensive way to travel in and around the city. In recent years, the number of cyclists has increased exponentially with the popularity of recreational and competitive cycling.
Many drivers, however, feel that the presence of cyclists adds to already congested roads, further aggravating road travel. When cyclists figure in deadly road accidents, often they involve crashes with motor vehicles. To reduce the risk of car versus bicycle accidents, authorities remind both types of road users to share the road and strictly observe traffic rules.
Driver Attitudes Toward Cyclists
Drivers and other motorists consider cyclists, as well as motorcyclists, one of the most vulnerable types of road users. While they generally recognize the delicate situation that cyclists face every day, drivers tend to regard themselves as superior to cyclists and feel that they have more right to the road than cyclists do. Thus, many accidents involving cyclists occur at intersections when the much larger car or truck ignores the cyclist’s right of way when attempting a left turn while the cyclist was traveling on a straight path.
Due to a motor vehicle’s bigger size and robustness, many drivers tend to display excessive confidence when traveling alongside cyclists, often insisting on getting their own way on the road. When a cyclist and vehicle approach a tight road, a driver is more likely not going to wait for the bicycle or motorcycle to pass, exposing both motorists and cyclists to risks of serious accidents.
Share the Road
While major cities in the U.S. agree that establishing exclusive bicycle lanes can boost road safety for cyclists, in areas that do not have bicycle lanes, transportation agencies remind cyclists and motorists to share the road in order to reduce the risks of catastrophic bicycle accidents.
For drivers, sharing the road means the following:
- Respecting the cyclist’s right of way if the driver is turning right and the cyclist is going straight
- Motorists should not park in bicycle lanes which are intended for cyclists. Cars using bicycle lanes force cyclists to swerve into traffic lanes where bicycles are not expected
- Look around before opening a car door to ensure that a cyclist is not approaching.
For cyclists, sharing the road with other motorists involves:
- Maintaining a consistent direction and speed
- Wearing clothing that enhances their road visibility and making appropriate hand signals before making a turn at an intersection
- Not riding along gutters when other motor vehicles are at a full stop
Bicycle Accident Injuries
CDC data for 2013 show that 900 bicyclists were killed and 494,000 bicyclists were admitted for emergency department treatment due to bicycle accident injuries. The most common injuries suffered in a bicycle accident are head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones.
Even with protective helmets, a cyclist can still suffer serious bodily injuries that require extensive medical treatment in order to fully recover. If you or a loved one has sustained severe injures in a bicycle accident, your main concern is to obtain all the medical help you will need to restore you back to good health and to recover all the expenses arising from your accident. Talk to an experienced bicycle accident attorney about the possibility of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Responsibility for Bicycle Accidents
In Las Vegas, anyone who is injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another party is generally entitled to compensation which covers all medical bills, lost wages or income, as well as damages for pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney, however, must first determine the cause of your injuries and the party responsible for it.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, it is possible to pursue a claim for compensation against:
- The driver or owner of the other vehicle when the driver performed acts that clearly disregarded the cyclist’s right to share the road with the motorist, such as making a left turn quickly and crashing into a cyclist riding on a straight path
- The local government or public authority that is responsible for a road’s defective design and/or construction that caused the bicycle accident
Importance of Personal Injury Attorney
Motorists are required to carry auto accident insurance which is usually the injured party’s first option for claiming compensation. Dealing with insurance adjusters and other personnel of the insurance company can be frustrating. The insurance company will most likely attribute fault for the accident on the bicyclist and deny the claim or offer to settle at much less than what the injured cyclist deserves. An experienced bicycle accident attorney would know how to deal with difficult insurance adjusters and can fight for your right to receive the maximum value of compensation that you deserve. At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen, our Las Vegas attorneys can present your claim before the insurance company and if necessary, we are prepared to litigate your claim and obtain the best possible outcome for you.