The expansion of North Carolina’s green ways has also result in an increase of biking popularity. Whether more people are riding bikes is attributed to the increasing cost of gasoline for cars or the numerous health benefits of cycling is unknown. Unfortunately, cyclist face a very real danger of getting into an accident with a vehicle every time they ride their bicycle. Because of the obvious dynamics and limited safety features afforded to cyclists riders struck by vehicles often incur serious catastrophic injuries.
Investigating bicycle accidents can be very difficult because of the dynamics of the vehicles involved. Typically engineers will be brought in to review the crash site as well as examine the vehicles involved. The sooner they can begin their investigation the better the likelihood that no evidence will be lost. If you or someone close to you has been involved in a bike accident and are seeking the best outcome please contact our accident attorney here at Rosensteel Fleishman. Our experienced injury lawyers have the resources and dedication needed to help our clients from beginning to end.
According to an August 2011 study by the NC Department of Transportation between 2005-2009 there were a total of 4,824 bicycle-motor vehicle crashes. Between 2002 and 2008 the trend has continued to rise. Over this period there were a total 114 fatal bicyclist crashes. This amounts to approximately 23 bicyclists killed each year and another 830 being injured each year.
The majority to bicycle crashes, 69%, more than two-thirds occurred in municipal limits. What the data shows is the when you combine an increasing cyclist population and urban populations you are going to get increasing accidents. To view the entire report please view the Department of Transliteration’s web site.
While the data does not go into the causes of each bicycle accident in many cases, motor vehicle driver inattention is a major cause of bicycle accidents. Inattention comes in many forms. Typically, drivers are not use to seeing bicycles on the road and do not appreciate them, especially when they are driving at high speeds. Many times, even when bicyclists are wearing reflective clothing, lights and are obeying all traffic laws a number of drivers simply fail to see a cyclist in time to prevent a collision. The law however is quite clear that drivers owe a duty of care to those they share the state’s roads with (cyclists included). As such, failing to see a rider in time is not a valid excuse for striking a rider.
If a driver was negligent when they struck a cyclist they can be ordered by a court to pay monetary compensation to those they injure. Many people believe that there must be contact between a vehicle and the cyclist in order to be found liable. This is incorrect. If the driver disobeys traffic laws which causes the cyclist to take evasive maneuvers resulting in an injury then the driver can be held liable for their negligent actions. Of course, if there is no contact and the driver does not remain at the scene of the accident you may have difficulty getting your uninsured insurance to pay for the claim. This is because NC follows the contact rule which requires some contact with the at fault vehicle. Many times cyclists are disoriented following an accident. If you are unsure of what happened we would urge you to avoid speaking with any insurance company until you have addressed your health first.