Bicycle accidents occur every day due to the increased popularity of bike riding and more importantly the negligence of automobile drivers. Although many cities across the U.S. have recently added bike lanes on busy city streets, cars still refuse to accept bikers as travelers on the road. Car collisions with bikes account for one-third of biking accidents. Many car – bike crashes cause serious injury because bicyclists are so exposed to the impact.
Bike accidents happen at an alarming rate:
- A cyclist is fatally injured every 6 hours
- Roughly one million children are injured annually in bicycle related accidents
- Approximately half of biking accidents occur in children under age 16
- Head injuries make up 75 percent of serious injuries in accidents
An Austin woman, JoJo McKibben, faces serious injury after a hit-and-run struck her on April 3 as she biked to work. When it happened, she says it didn’t surprise her. The crash was McKibben’s second bicycle-car crash in Austin.
The first time, she was bicycling downtown when she was struck by a drunk driver who ran a red light on Sixth Street and North Lamar. The driver, Katie Bykowski, was speeding through an intersection at 60 mph. Bykowski’s vehicle pinned McKibben to the ground. Seven Austin police officers helped to lift a 3,400 pound vehicle off McKibben immediately following the crash. They were later honored at a ceremony.
Austin cyclists shouldn’t be hurt this way. When serious crashes like these happen, hurt victims can try to make their lives whole by securing a tireless personal injury lawyer to advocate on their behalf.
Due to the negligence and inattentiveness of drivers new traffic laws dealing with cyclists have been enacted. Vehicles are required to share the road with cyclists, according to Texas law, and that means that bicycle riders must uphold their end of the bargain as well. Ignorance of these laws will not protect negligent persons on either end of the accident. Common collisions between cyclists and drivers are:
- A motorist turning directly in front of a biker
- A motorist entering traffic from a driveway/parking spot right in front of a cyclist
- A motorist failing to yield at an intersection/running a stop sign or traffic light
- Inattentiveness of an automobile driver
- Failure of a motorist to look both ways
- A motorist that is inhibited by drugs or alcohol
These are just the most common ways bikers are injured in collisions. Other types of negligence include product liability, faulty products, and bad manufacturing practices. If an accident occurs while you are biking, remain calm and follow these steps:
- Seek medical attention for yourself or anyone else who might be injured; call 911 and NEVER refuse medical attention; you may be in shock and not realize the extent of the injuries
- Obtain the name, address, phone number, license number, license plate number, and description of the driver and vehicle he was in
- Also try and get the drivers insurance information (agent, policy, company name)
- Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any passengers or witnesses
- Jot down anything you remember from the incident ( location, vehicles, damage), take photos if possible
- DO NOT discuss liability with the driver and don’t consult with anyone unless a lawyer is present
Biking accidents are often more complex than your regular auto accident. Therefore, it is always a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney to help you navigate your way to recovery.