Hardy bicyclists take to the roads in many seasons, but with longer days and warm summer weather, drivers need to pay extra attention to those on bicycles sharing our roadways. Cyclists and drivers both have a responsibility to be mindful and obey traffic laws. Drivers, however, are operating significantly larger and heavier vehicles and can take additional steps to avoid bicycle accidents.
In the majority of accidents between cars and bicycles, the driver is at fault for neglecting to obey traffic laws regarding bicyclists. Fatigue, distracted or impaired driving, driving too fast for conditions, and speeding are among the other causes of serious car accidents that cause injury or fatality to bicyclists as well as drivers.
Hazards for Drivers and Cyclists
Cyclists are required in most states to obey the laws requiring them to use the far right side of the road or a designated bike lane. Cyclists can also use the roadway in the center of a traffic lane unless specifically prohibited. Drivers should be aware of this and pay attention to slower traveling cyclists on the right side of the road and in traffic as well. Statistics show that there are three most frequent types of bicycle accidents that occur. They are:
- A parked car door is opened into traffic and the cyclists collides with the door. In most cases the driver is liable because they are expected to use reasonable care when opening a door into the area of the road designated for bicycles.
- Being sideswiped by a passing vehicle. Drivers have a responsibility to be aware of any bicyclists and slow down or avoid passing in the same lane.
- Being hit by a vehicle making a right turn. Drivers are bound by traffic laws that state a turn should not be made unless it is safe; therefore, the driver also has the duty to look for any cyclists riding on the right.
There are also cases where the bicyclist may be liable for the collision if they have failed to follow traffic laws. If a cyclist was riding on the wrong side of the road, failed to wear visible night clothing, or failed to indicate a turn these could all potentially relive the motorist of liability. A cyclist using a cell phone or riding while holding other items without two hands on the handlebars can also be a traffic hazard.
It is important for a driver involved in a bicycle-car collision to consult with an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer who can provide guidance on specific traffic laws and your rights. Drivers should however always remain alert and aware and take commonsense steps to prevent accidents as more bicycle commuters and recreational riders take to the roads.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Pursue Justice and Compensation for Those Injured in Bicycle Accidents
The Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC represent victims of car accidents and work to get you the compensation and care you deserve. We represent clients in Wilmington, Dover, Newark, and Middletown, Delaware, as well as those in Philadelphia and South Jersey. For a free consultation, please complete our online form or call 302-888-1221 or 215-569-8488.