Collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles occur far too frequently, and they are likely to lead to severe injuries for bicyclists. When a person on a bicycle is struck by a car or truck, they may suffer broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and serious sprains or dislocated joints. Even if a person is wearing a helmet, they may experience traumatic brain injuries, which can lead to temporary or permanent disabilities. To prevent these types of injuries, drivers should take care to operate their vehicles safely when sharing the road with bicycles.
Actions Drivers Should Take to Avoid Bicycle Accident injuries
In Wisconsin, people who ride bicycles on a public road have the same rights as those who are driving motor vehicles. This means that drivers should respect a bicyclist’s right to ride in lanes of traffic, as well as on shoulders or bike lanes to the side of the road. Drivers must yield the right-of-way to bicycles just as they would to other vehicles that are traveling through an intersection or making a right or left turn.
Drivers should avoid following bicycles too closely. When passing a bicyclist, they should be sure to leave at least three feet of space between their vehicle and the bicycle. More space should be provided when passing a bicycle at higher speeds. By giving bicycles enough room, drivers can avoid striking a bicycle from behind if a cyclist needs to slow down suddenly or sideswiping a bicycle if the cyclist needs to swerve around potholes or other obstacles.
Drivers should always check their blind spots when making turns or changing lanes. Before proceeding through an intersection, they should also watch for bicycles that may be entering the intersection from any direction. Since bicycles are small, drivers may not notice them, and they may turn into or in front of a bicycle, leading to a dangerous collision. Drivers should avoid distractions such as making phone calls, texting, adjusting radio settings, or eating and drinking, since distracted driving will make them more likely to fail to notice bicycles on the road near their vehicle.
When exiting a vehicle that is parked on the side of a road, drivers and passengers should always check for bicycles that may be traveling in a bike lane or a lane of traffic. If they fail to do so, they may open their door into a bicyclists’ path. This is known as “dooring,” and it can knock a person off of a bicycle and cause serious injuries when they strike the ground or other vehicles.
Many bike riders do not realize that if the person who caused the accident does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover all of their damages, they may be able to collect additional damages through the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage of their own insurance policy. Because of their vulnerability to serious injuries, avid bicyclists and motorcycle riders should consider protecting themselves by purchasing higher limits for uninsured and underinsured coverage on their own policies.
Contact Our Green Bay Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you are a bicyclist who has been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you determine your best options for pursuing financial compensation for your injuries. We will gather evidence to show that the driver acted negligently, and we will help you hold them responsible for your injuries and any other damages you have suffered. Contact our Appleton bike accident lawyers by calling 920-739-7366 to arrange a complimentary consultation.