Except where specifically prohibited, bicyclists have a legal right to use the road. They should be treated no differently than motor vehicles. However, too many bicyclists are killed every year by negligent or aggressive motorists. Although bicyclists are incapable of keeping up with traffic and are easily overlooked in busy traffic situations, this is no excuse because it is the duty of motorists to remain fully alert and to operate their vehicles safely.
Too many motorists drive while distracted or drive too fast for the conditions. Some mistakenly feel that bicyclists don’t belong on the road and will express these feelings by blaring their horns, shouting, or passing dangerously close to the bicyclist. If these actions cause a bicycling accident, they may be considered acts of assault or road rage.
Some common bicycling accidents that have caused a wrongful death include:
Cars Turning Right at Intersections
Bicyclists typically ride on the right edge of the road. They also stay to the right when crossing intersections. An inattentive motorist turning right at the intersection may collide into a bicycle crossing the intersection or turn into their path.
Cars Turning Left at Intersections
Left turning cars must wait for oncoming traffic to clear before cutting across the lane. Motorists sometimes fail to see bicycles in the intersection because they aren’t looking specifically for them. Instead, they focus on other four-wheeled motorized vehicles.
Cars Pulling out into Traffic from Side Roads, Parking Lots, and Driveways
Motorists pulling into a road may fail to give the bicyclist the right of way and pull into its path. Sometimes the driver collides into the bicyclist because they’re distracted, focused too narrowly on other motor vehicles, or driving aggressively. Another type of collision often occurs on suburb roads when a car strikes a bicyclist while backing out of a driveway. Children are often the victims of backup accidents.
Cars Clipping Bicyclists
This occurs when motorists fail to give the bicyclist sufficient clearance when overtaking them and clipping them with a mirror. This causes the bicyclist to lose control and either run off the road or into oncoming traffic.
If a bicycle accident took the life of a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation. Let us put our years of experience to work for you.