As gas prices rise, more and more Pennsylvanians are using bicycles as a form of transportation. Bicycling is good exercise, it’s great for the environment, and there are no delays caused by heavy traffic. However, bicycling can also be dangerous.
Bicycles are much smaller than most of the vehicles on the road. This makes them easy to maneuver, but they are easily lost in a car or truck’s blind spot increasing the risk of an accident. However, most bicyclists are aware of the danger and take precautions to avoid accidents.
Although bikers are watching out for cars, Pennsylvania drivers don’t always do their part to keep bicyclists safe. Each year, about 1,500 Pennsylvanians suffer serious injuries in bicycle accidents. About 20 die from their injuries.
Bicyclists Have Rights
In Pennsylvania, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. Like all drivers, bicyclists must follow the rules of the road and take steps to protect their own safety. However, bicycle accidents are rarely the fault of the biker. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle drivers are the main cause of fatal bicycle-vehicle accidents.
Five Reasons Pennsylvania Bicycle Accidents Occur
- A driver does not see the bicyclist because he is distracted or forgets to check his blind spots.
- A driver headed in the opposite direction makes a left turn in front of the bicyclist.
- A driver travelling in the same direction passes the bicyclist and then slows down and makes a right turn.
- A driver turns into an intersection while the bicyclist is crossing.
- The bicyclist is hit by a driver who is exiting a driveway or alley.
Because bicycle-car accidents can result in very serious injuries, Pennsylvania drivers have a “duty of care” towards bicyclists. This means that drivers must watch for bicyclists and take steps to avoid accidents.
Bicycle accidents are covered by motor vehicle insurance. If a bicycle accident is caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it is the at-fault driver’s insurance company that is responsible for compensation. Bicycle accident victims may recover damages for their medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Just because you are eligible for damages, doesn’t mean that the insurance company will give you the compensation you deserve. Before you accept the insurance company’s offer, contact the Pennsylvania bicycle accident lawyers at Petrelli Law at (215) 309-4034. We’ll tell you what your case is really worth. The case evaluation is free.
Pennsylvania Bicycle Accidents Involving Children
A bicycle is a traditional part of an American childhood. Unfortunately, many bicycle accident victims are children. Because children lack the judgement to avoid accidents, drivers have an increased duty of care. Drivers must slow down and watch for children and their bicycles while driving near residential neighborhoods, parks and schools.
If your child was injured in a bicycle accident, we urge you to a bike accident lawyer to discuss your child’s legal rights.