Pittsburgh Bicycle Accident Lawyers – Harrisburg Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bicycling has become increasingly popular as a mode of transportation in the U.S. and it is easy to see why. Biking is a great form of exercise that can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of developing chronic health issues, and improve your mood and energy level. It is cleaner, greener, and far less costly than driving a car. Across the nation, people are parking their gas-guzzling vehicles and picking up this healthy alternative, especially in our area. Since 2000, Pittsburgh has experienced a 408.8% growth in the number of bike commuters and earned the 11th spot on the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of the top 70 largest cities with the highest percentage of bicycle commuters by population.
Despite all the benefits cycling offers, there is an increased risk of injury. Because bicyclists lack the protection of a surrounding vehicle, riders struck by a motor vehicle absorb the full impact of a collision. Injuries sustained in bicycle accidents can be catastrophic and life changing, and may even be fatal. According to the most recent data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of bicycle accident fatalities has been increasing steadily over the past five years, with 743 cyclists killed in 2013 and another 48,000 injured in crashes with motor vehicles.
There are a number of precautions cyclists can take to help lower the risk of injury or death while riding a bicycle. Pittsburgh bicycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of James R. Moyles recommends that cyclists follow these safety tips:
- Wear a helmet.
Head injuries are the most common cause of bicycle accident fatalities. Though Pennsylvania law requires only cyclists under the age of 12 to wear a helmet when riding a bike, all riders can benefit from this life-saving piece of equipment.
- Obey the rules of the road.
Ride on the right side of the road and observe all traffic signs and signals. Failure to observe basic traffic rules increases your risk of injury and could potentially forfeit your rights to claim damages in the event of a bicycle accident.
- Make yourself visible.
PA law mandates that cyclists use headlights and reflective decals when riding after dark. Wearing brightly colored clothing can also make cyclists more visible during the day.
- Use hand signals when turning and stopping.
Letting those you share the road with know what to expect can greatly reduce your risk of a collision.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles
Despite cyclists’ best efforts to obey the rules of the road and avoid accidents with cars and trucks, they cannot prevent all bicycle – car accidents. Common reasons drivers cause bicycle accidents include:
- Driver fails to see or misjudges the speed of a bicyclist and makes a right hand turn into their path
- Driver is speeding or driving recklessly
- Driver is fatigued or driving while distracted
- Driver comes too close while overtaking cyclist
- Cyclist is “doored” when a driver or passenger opens the car door in front of the cyclist’s path
- Motorist exits a driveway or parking lot into the path of a bicyclist
- Driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol
Determining Liability in a Bicycle – Car Accident
In Pennsylvania, bicycles are governed by the same general set of rules that apply to all vehicles. Riders must also follow a specific set of rules designed for bicycles. All drivers and cyclists have a duty to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care for their own safety and for the safety of everyone else they share the road with. Keeping this in mind, bicycle accidents involving cars are not always the driver’s fault, and determining liability can be tricky. For this reason, it is important to hire a reputable Pittsburgh car accident lawyer who understands the specific laws governing cyclists and has experience handling bicycle accident claims.
Pittsburgh and Harrisburg Personal Injury Lawyers at the Moyles Law Firm Obtain Compensation for Injured Victims of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accident injuries can be severe and have devastating consequences for individuals and the families that depend on them. Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at The Moyles Law Firm are dedicated to helping victims of bicycle accidents get the maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law. We have offices in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, PA and represent clients throughout Western and Central Pennsylvania, including the towns of Carlisle, Millersville, Hanover, Gettysburg, Lancaster, York, Shippensburg, Hershey, Linglestown, and Dillsburg. Call 412-281-1055 or 717-233-5400 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Pittsburgh bicycle accident lawyers or contact us online.