Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina - Knowledge Can Help Avoid Injuries


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Bicycling is becoming more popular in the United States. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says that Americans are turning to biking for its health and environmental benefits. Plus, millennials, people born between 1979 and 1995, seem to have a preference for living in cities and having their lives less tied to their car. Unfortunately, our region has not traditionally been very friendly to bikers.

A study released a few years ago, for example, found that bikers were eight times more likely to be killed by a car in North Carolina than they were in Oregon. Bike-friendly states have simply done a better job of installing dedicated bike lanes or at least generous road shoulders, plus dense, larger cities tend to be more bike friendly because biking can be a realistic commuting option
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for people that live close to work. Some states, like Massachusetts, spend as much as 5% of their transportation budget on bike and pedestrian-friendly facilities. North Carolina spends less than one half of one percent. It is hard to imagine this is not a factor in the 19 deaths and 600 injuries that North Carolina cyclists suffer on average each year. The legislature is trying to protect bikers with new laws, but there is a long way to go.

Bikers - Be Safe Follow the Law

Common sense tells you that when a car and bicyclist collide, the bicyclist is going to get the worst of it. So bikers must do everything they can to protect themselves. Bikers should always wear a helmet and ride on a safe part of the roadway. Following the law can keep bikers safe and also improve their chances of having the other driver found to be at fault in an accident.
Another very popular option these days for bicyclists to use helmet cameras when the ride. Though they are not always as useful as one might think, cameras can help reconstruct what happened in an accident and help an injured biker receive compensation for his or her injuries.

Drivers - Do Not Assume You Are at Fault

Because bikers are more easily injured in a collision, many drivers feel guilty when something happens. It is not always the driverís fault, though. Many bikers are reckless and if they zip out into traffic and cause a driver to take evasive action the biker could be liable for damage caused by the driver. Moreover, a biker could be at fault even if he or she is injured. In that situation the biker can be held liable for property damage to a vehicle that he or she caused in a collision. Bikers are supposed to follow the law and act safely, just like drivers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Philip Mullins
Philip Mullins has handled trial and appellate cases throughout North Carolina since 1993. Over the years he has tried complex jury trials, obtaining numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and negotiated settlements involving serious personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from automobile collisions, trucking wrecks, and industrial accidents.

Philip is known for his extensive litigation experience, knowledge of opponents strategies, and for winning cases because of his skill, expertise and hard work.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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