SAGINAW, Michigan. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 alone, 50,000 bicyclists were injured in car accident related crashes. These numbers are increasing every year, largely due to the increased popularity of bike riding. Riding a bike for transportation or for recreation is a great eco-friendly alternative to driving and it also helps you stay in shape as well. Yet, when drivers make a mistake behind the wheel, the individuals who often suffer the greatest injuries are the bike riders. Bicyclists don’t have the protective chassis of a car, so when accidents occur, they are more likely to sustain serious head, neck, back, or internal injuries. If you or a loved one was hurt in a car accident while riding a bike, you may be entitled to seek a recovery for your medical expenses, rehabilitation fees, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Visit http://www.michiganlegalcenter.com/saginaw-car-accidents to speak to a personal injury lawyer in Saginaw, Michigan and to learn more.
With more bikers on the road, researchers have been trying to understand what factors lead to bike accidents involving motor vehicles. A recent study published in the Journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention, looked to evaluate the ways in which driver and bicyclist behavior contributes to crashes. The researchers found that there were two common errors made when bike accidents occurred. The first error involved issues of attention. Drivers or bikers were not paying attention to the road so as to detect either the car or the biker. The second error involved incorrect expectations about the way other people will behave.
The most common instance where these two errors occur is when a driver is turning right and a bicyclist is riding right along the path of the car. The drivers were noted looking left for cars, and not looking right for bikers. Cyclists noticed the driver, but may not have been aware that the driver was turning—either because the driver didn’t signal, or because they believed the driver would give them the right of way under the law. In fact, according to the study, 92% of bikers believed that drivers would give them the right of way.
So, how can these findings help bikers and drivers? For one, bikers should bike defensively. Never assume that a driver will give you the right of way, especially where the consequences for a misunderstanding can be tragic. Drivers need to be more aware of bikers. Always signal before turning right, to make bikers and other drivers aware of your intentions. Next, always check to the right before turning, to make sure that there isn’t a biker in your way.
Drunk driving, distracted driving, and failing to obey the rules of the road an also result in accidents. If you or a loved one was personally injured in a bike accident, you may have certain rights and protections under the law. Christopher Trainor & Associates in Saginaw Michigan are personal injury lawyers who work closely with survivors and families to protect their rights.