Grand Rapids Bicycle Accident Lawyer
To Prevent Collisions and Injuries, Cyclists Have to Always Ride Defensively
As the amount of cyclists increases, the number of collisions involving bikes will also likely grow. And, like many other car collisions, a number of them occur at intersections.
Many of these accidents are the result of drivers that appear to forget that bicyclists are also legitimate and lawful users of the roads. They fail to look out for bicyclists when making turns or driving through intersections.
These types of accidents are worsened by overly large and busy intersections. Furthermore, bicyclists are endangered by quickly changing traffic signals that may turn red before they completely cross the intersection.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Several of the most common causes of bicycle crashes involve:
Motorists failing to yield to bicyclists in intersections
Some drivers may not be familiar with the laws of the road when dealing with bicyclists sharing the road. This lack of awareness can be particularly hazardous when a bicyclist and a vehicle are sharing the road while crossing or turning at an intersection. Intersections are one of the most hazardous places for cars and bicyclists. Intersections are one of the main locations where crashes leading to devastating injuries happen.
A motorist failing to observe cyclists on the street
Drivers not seeing a bicyclist when driving is a common cause of a collision involving a bicycle. Both drivers and bicyclists need to take preventative measures to reduce this very preventable cause of bike collisions.
Bicyclists can utilize safety devices like sideview mirrors, reflectors, lights, and light-colored apparel to help reduce the possibility of a crash. Likewise, motorists need to be aware that cars are not the only vehicles they need to watch out for on the roads. Motor vehicle drivers need to be especially cautious at intersections, near bike lanes, and in areas with a large number of bike commuters.
Drivers encroaching into bike lanes
Even while riding within the boundaries of a bike lane, cyclists should be alert at all times for distracted and negligent motorists. Cars can inadvertently or intentionally drift into a bike lane after just a few seconds of distraction. This can possibly cause a bicyclist to suffer major injuries.
Bicycle doorings when a motorist or passenger does not pay attention while opening a car door
As we mentioned above, dooring incidents are a major threat to cyclists, especially in urban environments. These incidents can cause a bicyclist to go flying over their handlebars, which can cause devastating injuries like brain injuries, neck and back injuries, facial damage, and long-lasting pain and suffering. Engaging in defensive riding techniques is the best way for a bicyclist to prevent being the victim of a dooring.
Distracted motorists hitting a cyclist
Distracted driving is one of the most significant problems for road safety that we face today. As smartphones have become a huge part of our daily lives, many people find it hard to set down their phones even while driving. Distracted motorists are clearly a threat to other vehicles. However they are even more dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians because they have almost zero protection if they are hit. Someone who is distracted by texting, eating, or a myriad of other things may divert into bike lanes. Also, they might not notice a bicyclist crossing through an intersection or fail to see a cyclist while making a turn. Distracted driving is such a big concern that it’s been identified as the leading cause of bicycle accidents involving automobiles.
Drivers neglecting to yield to bicyclists while pulling in and out of driveways or parking lots
When a driver that is backing out of a driveway or parking lot does not completely check their surroundings, it can cause serious repercussions for pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists are more likely to be struck in parking lots and while people are backing out due to their smaller size and their low noise levels. Backup cameras and sensors are starting to minimize these types of collisions. But drivers can not depend on these technologies instead of looking behind them and checking their blind spots.
How Can I Avoid a Bike Accident?
Following appropriate safety procedures and laws when riding a bike in Grand Rapids is the most effective way to avoid collisions and injuries. When riding in traffic, bicyclists should do the following:
- Follow the rules of the road
- Assume that cars and drivers will fail to see you
- Provide vehicles a wide berth
- Regularly yield to cars under certain conditions when you do not know if a driver has spotted you
- You should have appropriate safety gear
How Can I Protect Myself in a Bicycle Accident?
- Use a properly-fitting helmet
- Wear bright or reflective apparel
- Use a bike light, reflectors, and reflective tape
- Adhere to all posted traffic laws
- Flight with the circulation of traffic
- Use bike lanes whenever possible
- Be sure your bicycle is in good working condition
- Stay alert at all times and avoid distracted riding
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
If you get injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to do the following:
- Call 911 and file a police report. Do not let a driver talk you into not making a police report. That can lead to problems later.
- Exchange information with the driver that hit you. Photograph of his or her driver’s license and insurance coverage card.
- Take several pictures of your bike, the car that hit you, and the scene of the accident.
- Get witness information from anybody that happened to see the crash. Don’t miss this step, as police officers do not always get witness information and you could need it later.
- If needed, get medical attention immediately.
- Consult with a knowledgeable bike accident attorney in Grand Rapids. Do this prior to calling the other party’s insurance company.
Contact a Grand Rapids Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Marko Law
If you sustain an injury in an accident with a car while riding your bicycle, or someone you love has been tragically killed, you need to talk to a qualified bicycle accident attorney immediately. He or she will help determine whether you may have a legitimate personal injury or wrongful death claim against a negligent motorist.
At Marko Law, our knowledgeable bicycle accident attorneys assist cyclists in pursuing cases against negligent drivers who have caused major injuries. We know how to collect all of the compensation you deserve for your injuries, whether that means filing a lawsuit or pursuing a solution through other means.
Contact Us Today to Get a Free Consultation
If you are ready to start your case or need more information about a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, contact Marko Law Firm today. Let us represent you as you seek justice and compensation for your pain and damages. Call (313) 777-7LAW today to get a free consultation or visit our website: MarkoLaw.com to get more information.