Arizona Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling is becoming an increasingly popular sport and mode of transportation across Arizona and the United States.
Even with this increase though, many motorists fail to acknowledge the rights of cyclists to ride on roads. This can lead to potentially dangerous and deadly situations. When vehicles and cyclists collide, the results are often serious, and sometimes deadly.
When an accident leaves an injured victim, Arizona law may entitle that victim to bring a claim against the responsible party for their damages. Such damages may include any medical bills incurred, pain, suffering, loss of income and other damages.
Leading Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Just as with motor vehicle accidents, there are many causes of bicycling accidents. However, here are some of the more common causes.
Left Crosses: This occurs when a motor vehicle traveling opposite the bicycle makes a left turn, striking the cyclist from the left side. In some cases, the vehicle cuts off the cyclist, causing him or her to strike the vehicle.
Lack of Visibility: Cyclists who do not improve their visibility have a higher risk of accidents. Some steps that cyclists should take are:
- Wear reflective clothing
- Add headlights or taillights
- Wear a bright-colored helmet
What Motorists Need to Know
With the increased popularity of bicycling, it is the responsibility of motorists to share the road in a legal and moral manner.
Arizona motorists should keep the following three points in mind.
- It is the right of cyclists to ride their bikes in the roadways.
- Respecting the rights and safety of bicyclists will also improve your own safety. No one wants to be involved in an accident. If you avoid dangerous misconduct, you will keep yourself and those around you safe.
- The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that a high majority of bicycle accidents occur at intersections. If you are nearing an intersection, proceed with caution and maintain observance for any cyclists in the area.
If motorists and cyclists alike follow all laws of the road and operate in a safe manner, almost all accidents can be eliminated.
Safety Tips for Bicyclers
It is important that cyclists know their rights and the laws of the state prior to riding on roadways. Safety is highly important, not only for yourself, but for those sharing the roads with you.
Below are some tips to follow:
- Always wear your helmet;
- Use a crosswalk when crossing the street;
- Always ride your bike with the flow of traffic;
- Obey all traffic signals and signs;
- Never ride with more than one person to a one-passenger bike; and
- Be observant for dangerous debris such as broken glass, sticks, and rocks.
Depending on where you are, bicycle lanes may be present or not. In some areas, they are in abundance and can be found on major routes of travel. In other locations, bicycle lanes are sparse or completely absent, which makes riding very challenging for the cyclists.
There is an increasing popularity of bike lanes in Arizona. And with this increase, should come a greater understanding of their purpose and effect among motorists and cyclists alike.
Designated bicycle lanes are marked for use by cyclists only. This means that other vehicles, such as car and trucks, cannot use these lanes. Despite these laws, there are drivers that drift into bicycle lanes often, and some of these drivers have caused bicycle accidents.
Such drifting into bicycle lanes, even if just by a few inches, is very dangerous. As a traffic violation, it can also lead to hefty fines and penalties. These punishments will increase if an accident occurs and someone is injured, as negligent motorists can be held liable for all damages, including any personal injuries that result.
A dooring accident occurs when a vehicle’s door is opened into the path of an oncoming cyclist, causing the cyclist to strike the door.
For example, this often occurs when someone is using a cab and exits the cab on the street side instead of the curbside.
No matter the circumstance, it is the duty of the driver or passenger to ensure that there is no oncoming traffic, including cyclists, in the path of the door. A failure to do so could be an act of negligent conduct which could trigger legal liability on the part of the person who opened the door.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the Yearin Law Office today. It is important that you speak to an expert accident attorney who can answer all of your questions. Call today at 480-502-0708 for a free consultation.