There are many ways in which you can put yourself in danger while riding your bike. Entering traffic while not yielding the right-of-way, for example, can result in a sudden and violent collision. When a hit on bike by car, catastrophic injuries are frequent ouctomes. You can reduce your chances of being injured in a Michigan bicycle accident by obeying traffic laws and riding defensively.
The Moment Before the Crash
The Office of Highway Safety Planning keeps detailed records about why and how bicycle accidents occur. According to the Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, there were 1,981 bicycle accidents in the year 2012. In those accidents, 20 bicyclists were killed and only 297 cyclists survived without suffering an injury. Common actions taken prior to accidents that year included:
- Going straight ahead: A large majority of bicycle accidents occur when the rider is simply going straight. To prevent these types of accidents, riders should wear bright clothing to increase their visibility. They should also stay as far to the right as possible to allow faster moving vehicles to safely pass them.
- Making a turn: There were 44 accidents in the year 2012 that occurred as a bicyclist was turning left and another 15 that occurred when the bike rider was turning right. It is important to remember that all riders are subject to the same right-of-way laws as motorists.
- Entering the roadway: There were 111 accidents that occurred as a bike rider entered traffic. All riders must exercise care and yield the right-of-way when turning from an alley or driveway.
- Crossing an intersection: There were 341 Michigan bicycle accidents in the year 2012 that occurred as bicyclists were entering an intersection. It is easy for motorists to overlook bicyclists when entering an intersection. All riders must obey traffic lights and enter intersections with caution.
- Crossing where there is no intersection: It is not safe to cross the road on a bike where there is no crosswalk or intersection. There were 76 bicycle accidents that occurred as bicyclists were crossing the street.
- Changing lanes: Changing lanes on a bike can be extremely dangerous if the drivers around you do not know your intentions. Lane changing resulted in 16 bicycle accidents in the year 2012. All riders would be well advised to use hand signals and to only change lanes when there is plenty of room.
Protecting Your Rights After A Bicycle Accident
Careless drivers put even the safest bicyclists in harm's way. If you are struck while riding, there are steps you can take to protect your rights.
- Check for injuries. If you have been hurt, you must remain at the crash site and call the authorities.
- Collect contact numbers from anyone who may have witnessed the crash and make sure you get the insurance information from the driver.
- It can help to have your version of the crash recorded in the police report.
- Take the time to write down everything you remember as soon as possible.
- If you have a camera or a smart phone, take photos of the crash site, your damaged bike, the car and of your injuries.
- Seek out medical attention to increase your chances of a full recovery and to document your injuries.
- Discuss your legal options with a skilled Michigan bicycle accident attorney.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will fight to get you fair compensation for all of the damages you suffered in the crash. Support should be available for your medical bills, hospitalization and rehabilitation, lost wages and non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. The experienced Michigan bicycle accident lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. will help protect your legal rights and ensure that you are justly compensated for your losses. We are actively pursuing lawsuits for bicyclists hit by car and suffering injuries. Please call us at 1-800-606-1717 for a free, no-obligation consultation.