Motorists have a number of common misconceptions about bicyclists; unfortunately, these false beliefs can contribute to serious bicycle accidents. By clearing up some of these misconceptions, and u nderstanding what motorists are thinking when you are on your bicycle, you can increase your chances of a safe ride.
When a motorist is responsible for a Colorado bicycle accident, a Denver personal injury lawyer can file a claim in order to recover damages for the cyclist’s injuries that may compensate you for:
- medical expenses;
- lost income; and
- even pain and suffering.
Misconception #1 – Bicyclists Disobey the Rules of the Road
One of the most common misconceptions regarding bicyclists is that they all disobey the rules of the road by running red lights and riding on the sidewalk to get around traffic. However, just as not all motorists break the law, the same is true of bicyclists. Many bicyclists adhere to the rules of the road in an effort to stay safe and avoid bicycle accidents.
Misconception #2 – Bicyclists Don’t Pay Taxes and Have No Right to Ride on the Road
The money that pays for road maintenance doesn’t only come from fuel and vehicle registration tax; general taxes, such as income tax and sales tax, are paid by motorists and bicyclists alike. In fact, many bicyclists also drive cars, and pay the same taxes as motorists. In addition, bicycles are also only responsible for a small amount of the wear and tear on public roadways; most of the problems are caused by cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles.
Misconception #3 – Bicyclists Should Ride as Close as Possible to the Right Side of the Road
Many motorists believe that bicyclists should ride closely to the right side of the road; however, doing so could cause bicycle accidents. When a bicyclist stays to the right, he or she risks running into doors when a driver exits a vehicle and getting pushed off the road when cars drive past.
To eliminate these problems, bicyclists should travel in the middle of the road when possible in order to stay out of motorists’ blind spots. Bicyclists should also use turn signals and communicate their intentions to passing motorists to avoid bicycle accidents.
Misconception #4 – Most Bicycle Accidents are Caused by the Bicyclist
Many bicycle accidents are actually caused by motorists who are not paying attention to bicyclists on the road. The most common bicycle accidents include a motorist sideswiping the bicyclist and turning in front of or into a bicyclist; however, these accidents could be avoided if motorists:
- check their blind spots;
- use their turn signals; and
- leave at least 3 feet of room when passing a bicyclist.
Many people don’t realize that a motorist can be at fault for a bicycle accident even if the motor vehicle doesn’t come into contact with the bicyclist. If a bicyclist has to take action to avoid being hit and is injured as a result, a Denver personal injury lawyer may be able to gather evidence to prove the motorist’s liability.
When a bicycle accident is the bicyclist’s fault, it is typically because he or she is intoxicated or riding against traffic. Other contributors to bicycle accidents include:
- running traffic signals;
- riding without lights at night; and
- failing to signal can also contribute to bicycle accidents.
Misconception #5 – Most Traffic Delays Are Caused by Bicyclists
Motor vehicles are actually the cause of most traffic delays. While bicyclists travelling on a narrow road with several vehicles following can cause a delay, the most common causes of traffic delays for motorists include:
- road construction;
- inclement weather;
- school buses; and
- other motorists.
While widening the lanes could keep bicyclists from causing traffic delays, the truth is that almost anyone who uses the roadway will, at some point, cause a delay for others.
Contacting a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer
Many bicycle accidents are caused by the misconceptions of motorists sharing the roadways. The Law Office of D.J. Banovitz prides itself on giving honest, straightforward answers to your questions and concerns after you’ve been seriously injured in a bike accident, car wreck, slip and fall, or other type of personal injury accident. When another’s negligence causes you harm you deserve to know the truth about your rights and options in a personal injury claim.
To learn more about how bicycle accident attorneys matter in preserving your personal injury claim, request a FREE copy of our book, 7 Costly Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Colorado Injury Case. When you’re ready, contact us for a FREE consultation – 303-300-5060.