The Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling has become extremely popular in the United States. Many cities across the country have responded to this upsurge by designing bike routes and specific bike lanes but bicycle accidents are still on the rise. This article discusses the reasons why.
Bicycling has become extremely popular in the United States. All around the country, especially in high traffic, overpopulated cities, people are commuting to and from work on bicycles. Many are trying to save money on gas, while others are simply expediting their travels. It is also quite common for people to ride bicycles for pleasure, taking to the road for a joyride or renting bicycles in order to sight see while on vacation.
In the last 10 years, many cities across the country have responded to this upsurge by designing bike routes and specific bike lanes, installing bike racks on the front of public buses and placing bike traffic signals at busy intersections. However, these advances cannot always guarantee that bicyclists will be safe biking alongside big trucks and passenger cars. As more and more bicyclists take to the streets, the frequency of bicycle accidents is increasing.
In 2007, there were 657 collisions involving motor vehicles and bicyclists in the State of Oregon. The problems are twofold. Many bicyclists do not know how to properly bike along side of passenger cars. The most common errors committed by bicyclists include disregarding motor vehicle traffic signals, failing to yield to the right-of-way and riding on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic. Conversely, there are many motor vehicle drivers who do not understand how to safely share the road with bicyclists.
Those who operate motor vehicles are responsible for safely navigating the roads along side bicyclists. However, in the majority of bicycle accidents, the negligence of a motor vehicle driver is the direct cause of the accident. Common driving errors include:
• A driver pulling out of a driveway or parking lot in front of a bicyclist
Oregon law requires bicyclists to obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of motor vehicles. Therefore, bicyclists are protected under the same laws as motor vehicle drivers. Motor vehicle drivers must be aware of bicycle riders and treat them like any other vehicle on the road. In a split second a motor vehicle driver can cause serious injury or death to a bicyclist. If you or a someone you know have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may require the help of a personal injury lawyer in order to receive just compensation for your suffering.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Susak is a personal injury lawyer in Portland, Oregon. The personal injury attorneys at Susak & Powell have over 100 years combined legal experience. If you are in need of a bicycle accident lawyer contact our offices today for a free consultation.