According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, 23 people were killed and 1,604 injured in Arizona bicycle accidents in the year 2011. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly all bicycle deaths are caused by accidents with motor vehicles. Over 20% of these biking fatalities in the U.S. involve children between the ages of 5-15.
Although most highways prohibit bicycles, cyclists have the same rights to the road in urban centers and state roads. The Arizona Vehicle Code applies to bicycles as well as cars. Accordingly, Arizona bike riders involved in accidents have can be held responsible for traffic citations.
There are many causes for bicycling accidents. Some common accidents include:
- Inattentive Drivers: While many drivers pay attention to other automobiles while driving, bike riders are often ignored. Additionally, many drivers do not realize that cyclists are to be treated as moving vehicles; they have the same rules of the road and must be treated as traffic.
- Dooring: This occurs when a driver blindly opens a car door as a bike rider is passing by. The cyclist then typically flips over the car door or collides with it, which often results in severe injuries
- Left Turns: Many accidents occur when automobiles make left turns in intersections. Although vehicular traffic may be clear, many drivers fail to recognize oncoming bike riders.
- Road Conditions: Many roads are not designed with bike riders in mind. Many roads are outdated and do not contain proper space or lanes for bikers.
Mothers and the NHTSA agree: helmets should be worn while cycling. Studies show that bike helmets reduce the risk of injury by up to 88%. As a cyclist, it is your responsibility to follow traffic and road regulations provided for bikers. Also, you should make attempts to ride on roads with bike lanes or paths when possible.
While precautions can be taken, accidents still happen. If you or someone you know is injured in a bike accident, you should immediately contact the police. These accidents should be treated like any other motor vehicle accident—gather as much information as possible and do not admit guilt. Police reports can be useful in identifying the names of everyone in the accident.
If you are involved in an accident, we urge you to contact an experienced and successful Arizona personal injury attorney to help your case. With over 30 years of experience, the Simon Law Group will help you receive the compensation you deserve in your bike accident case. For a free and confidential consultation, call 480-745-2450.