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The Right of Bicyclists on the Road

When road accidents involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle occur, there is no telling what sort of injury or danger the cyclist can be exposed to, considering the little or almost no protection on his/her body. Riding your bike on U.S. roads ought to be a safe activity, especially since the law recognizes your right to have a share of the road with other motor vehicles.

Despite the allotted bike lanes, a lot of drivers still stubbornly refuse to recognize the legally imposed bikers’ right, resulting to as many as 52,000 injured and 677 dead cyclists in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

There are a lot of ways that these nightmarish accidents may become reality. According to the website of the Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, some of the most common reasons why motor vehicles and bicycles collide include:

  • Making abrupt turns in front of bikers
  • Drivers intentionally cutting a biker’s right of way
  • Failure to slow down when making turns or at intersections
  • Drivers trying to beat a red light or choosing not to stop at stop signs
  • Drivers failing to check possible incoming bikers
  • Reckless driving by intoxicated drivers

Cars and other motor vehicles are among the leading causes of serious injuries and deaths of cyclists in the U.S., due to the carelessness or negligence of drivers, car manufacturers or other parties involved in road traffic activities. This perennial, yearly concern has always kept the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its toes, continuously advocating road safety programs and working with car manufacturers to find ways to make cars better and safer. Drivers can help by giving bicycles more space, while cyclists can help by being more visible and signalling their intentions on the road clearly.

Thus, in 2013 one car company added another first in its line of technologically-advanced car safety features that are intended to further reduce the risk of car accidents which cause injury (or death) to pedestrian and bicycle riders – the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake. If the driver fails to act immediately on his/her car’s flashing red light which warns of an imminent collision, the safety feature will automatically stop the car to lessen the force of, if not totally avoid, the impact. This safety feature is expected to reduce yearly accidents, injuries and deaths to more than half.

Collisions almost always leave bicyclists with severe injuries that require medical treatment and absence from work – costly losses for the victim. Financial suffering should never add to victims’ woes, considering the fact that the accident and their injury are the fault of someone else. For the compensation victims are legally entitled to, there is always a highly qualified lawyer who you can turn to for assistance and defense of your rights.

Rick Coleman+