Tips for Avoiding Bicycle Accidents in North Carolina
Every week, multiple pedestrians and bicyclists become injured on the streets of North Carolina. Many of these injured people are struck by motor vehicles as they cross the street, prepare to board a bus, get into a car, ride a bicycle, or stand on the corner. In many cases, distracted driving is to blame, but not always.
Some injuries can be avoided, even if drivers are acting negligently. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are some practical tips pedestrians and bicyclists can take to protect themselves on North Carolina city and suburban streets.Be Visible
One of the most essential safety tips for bicyclists and pedestrians is to be visible. Be aware of your clothing if it is dark outside. Try to make eye contact with drivers, not just their cars. Do not assume drivers can see you or are paying attention to you. Do not emerge from between vehicles or obstacles without looking. Try to avoid running into the street abruptly.Use Your Ears
Listen for sounds of an oncoming driver, including vehicular sounds from brakes and engines. Be familiar with the sights and sounds during the most dangerous times of the day, week, and year. For example, pay attention to sounds that could involve problems at rush hour, after special events, and on weekend evenings and holidays when people are more likely to have been drinking alcohol.Keep Your Eyes Open
It is always important to look both ways before you cross a street. This is a saying we tell children, but it is not just for children. Remembering this saying can save lives. Watch for headlights. Do not assume trucks and cars will stop for you, even if they are supposed to.Follow All Traffic Rules, Signs, and Signals
Be careful about jaywalking, stoplights, and “Don’t Walk” signs. Do not enter an intersection unless you are positive it is safe.Practice Bike Safety
It is also important to obey the road on your bike. You should signal your turns clearly. Make sure you keep your hands on the handlebars at all time. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of fatalities. Using LED lighting and reflective gear at night can help you ensure other drivers see you, especially at night. It is also important you never use your phone while pedaling.Recovering Compensation After a Bicycle Accident in North Carolina
Victims of bicycle accidents may have the right to pursue compensation from the party or parties who caused the accident. In many bicycle accident cases, a distracted driver is at fault. Drivers do not always think to pay attention to bicycles or motorcycles. If texting, eating, watching videos, or engaging in other distracting behaviors, they are more likely to collide with bicyclists.
In other cases, the municipality may be at fault for your injuries. For example, if the roads or intersections were poorly designed, or there were potholes or other debris in the road, they may be at fault. From local cities to the state of North Carolina, municipalities have many resources to fight the claim against you. When you file a claim against a municipality, there are very tight deadlines, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Plaintiffs in bicycle accident claims can pursue several types of damages, including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity due to disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Not every bicyclist makes the right choices on the road. Sometimes when a bicyclist is moving quickly, they might make a judgment call that turns out to be wrong or unsafe. If you are not sure who was at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, speaking to an attorney is the best step you can take after receiving medical treatment.Contact a Skilled Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Bicyclists and pedestrians should not have to be hyperaware to avoid being struck on the street. Unfortunately, accidents are all too common. Many of these suggestions may seem embarrassingly simple, but following them can help save lives and prevent serious injuries if you follow them all the time.
However, accidents still occur even when bicyclists and pedestrians follow all of these safety precautions. If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a bicycle or motorcycle accident, it is crucial you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation.