Although only 11% of bicycle accidents involve colliding with a motor vehicle, they tend to result in the most serious injuries to the cyclist.
Many people assume that when a driver and a cyclist collide, the driver of the motor vehicle is automatically liable for any damages. However, this is not necessarily true.
Legal liability for an accident depends on each party’s conduct, not their mode of transportation. If the cyclist isn’t following the rules of the road and an accident results, he or she may be found at fault and therefore responsible, not only for his or her own medical costs and the cost of repairing the bicycle, but expenses incurred by the driver.
When determining legal liability, it’s important to understand who has the right of way. According to the rules of the road, a bike is treated just like any other vehicle. So, if two vehicles approach an intersection that does not have a traffic signal, the vehicle that arrived first has the right of way. If the vehicles arrive at the exact same time, the one to the right has the right of way. However, when a major street intersects with a minor street, the vehicle on the major street has the right of way.
Right of way at an intersection with a signal is always determined by the signal. However, cyclists should be aware that some signals have trouble detecting the presence of a cyclist.
Here are some other tips for cyclists to help prevent accidents:
- Always ride in the designated bike lane if one is provided.
- Never ride against traffic, since drivers don’t expect to see cyclists coming the wrong way.
- Wear reflective gear to maximize your visibility.
- Always use hand signals to make drivers aware of your intention to turn.
- Never pass vehicles on the right at intersections or driveways.
- Take care to avoid traveling in a driver’s blind spot.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for medical care and other expenses. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to assisting Idaho residents who have been injured due to the negligent actions of others. Call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.