Charleston, SC Bicycle Accident & Injury Attorney
Guidelines for Motor Vehicles to Minimize Risk to Bicyclists:
- Know bicyclists’ rights – Bicyclists are equally entitled to use the roadways. Bicycles are considered vehicles and share the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles. They must ride in the same direction as other traffic and follow the same traffic rules.
- Maintain awareness of bicyclists on the road – Because bicyclists are equally entitled to use roadways, drivers should expect them there. Drivers who only look for other cars on the road are setting themselves up for failure. For example, drivers should look for bicyclists traveling in a bicycle lane before turning right through the lane. And motorists parked next to bicycle lanes should check whether there are any oncoming bicyclists before opening their door into the lane. Motorists who suddenly fling their doors open into a bike lane cause real danger to oncoming traffic. In some cases, bicyclists have been thrown into oncoming traffic and been killed.
- Avoid cutting off oncoming bicycle traffic when turning left – In one common scenario, a driver assumes that he has time to turn left in front of an oncoming bicyclist because he assumes that the bicyclist is moving slowly. Drivers should be aware that modern bicycles have the ability to travel at or near posted speed limits on many roads. A bicycle can easily reach to 15 or 20 mph. (The land-speed record for a bicycle, set in 1995, is an amazing 167 mph.) Carelessly pulling out in front of a bicyclist traveling at full speed poses almost no danger to the driver of a motor vehicle, but it can lead to serious injury or even death for a bicyclist who strikes the side of a car. Because the bicyclist is unprotected by a vehicle, his body absorbs the full impact of striking the car. Where a driver turning left cannot judge the speed of an oncoming bicycle, the reasonable and lawful thing to do is to yield, just as he is required to do for any oncoming vehicle.
Contact an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident involving a car, truck, or another motor vehicle, you should contact an attorney who is familiar with the types of issues that arise in such accidents. An experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that anyone who may be liable for your medical expenses and other losses is held accountable. The Law Offices of Richard Hricik has represented numerous individuals who have been injured in bicycle accidents. Richard Hricik is familiar with numerous common aspects of bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles, including aggravating factors such as distracted driving, texting, failure to observe traffic laws, and driving under the influence. He can build a case to help ensure that you obtain a fair settlement.