Cycling clubs and races are picking up in popularity here in Cherry Hill and the number of people who ride their bicycle to work is increasing as well. Fitness, carbon footprint reduction, and reduction of traffic congestion are all good reasons to leave your car in the garage and hop on a bicycle instead. But along with all of the benefits, there of course has to be a downside to bicycling: bicycle accidents. The New Jersey Department of Transportation tells us that the top three causes of bicycle accidents with an at fault motor vehicle driver are 1) a driver turning or merging into a bicyclist’s path, 2) a driver pulling out from a stop sign, and 3) a driver exiting an alley or driveway.
Bicycle accident injuries
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, you know how serious the resulting injuries can be. Injuries may include road rash, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, dislocations, broken bones, and sometimes death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, contact our Cherry Hill bicycle accident attorneys with The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to discuss your recovery options.
Bicycle safety rules and precautions
You may not be able to avoid all bicycle accidents, but by adhering to the following safe bicycling practices you can decrease your likelihood of an accident:
- New Jersey requires a white front headlight and a red rear light when riding at night.
- Be visible and predictable by wearing bright clothes and using hand signals to indicate stops and turns.
- New Jersey requires that bicycles follow the rules of the road, which means obeying traffic signals, riding with traffic, and yielding to the right of way.
- Ride as far to the right as practical, but stay at least 4 feet away from parked cars so that you do not get into a “dooring” accident.
- Avoid distractions such as earbuds and smartphone use.
- Be extra aware and prepared to react when you are in a motor vehicle’s blind spot.
- Wear a helmet and other safety gear because this is the only protection you have against substantially larger and heavier motor vehicles.
Motor vehicle drivers’ duty to bicyclists
Motor vehicle drivers have a duty of care to bicyclists. They must follow rules of the road and operate safely around bicycles, particularly in the following ways:
- Be on the lookout for bicyclists, especially at intersections and yield to them when changing lanes or pulling out of a driveway.
- Only pass a bicycle when it is safe to do so. Do not pass a bicycle too closely; a minimum three foot buffer is required.
- Do not drive too closely behind a bicycle.
- Do not open a parked car door into the path of a bicyclist.
- Yield to a bicyclist’s right of way.
- Recognize and respect that bicyclists have the right to be on the road and operate in accordance with the rules of the road.
Bicycling can be dangerous, especially when cars, trucks, and buses do not follow the rules of the road with respect to bicycles. If you have been injured, you deserve to be compensated and our Cherry Hill bicycle accident attorneys want to see that you are. We are bicycle accident and personal injury experts who have successfully negotiated many bicycle accident settlements and tried many bicycle accident cases.