Bicycles are very economical and healthful ways to get around and have fun when riding with friends and family. When summer approaches each year, more bicycles are on the roads and sidewalks, which results in a natural rise in the number of accidents involving bicyclists and vehicles, pedestrians and other bicyclists. And when accidents happen, people often times get hurt and file lawsuits. Whether driving a car or riding a bicycle, there are legal liabilities involved, particularly if riding in a reckless manner that endangers others.
Bicyclists Must Abide Traffic Laws
Just because someone is pedaling a bicycle instead of driving a car or riding a motorcycle does not mean he or she is exempt from traffic laws. Like motorists, bicyclists must ride in a safe manner and take care not to endanger others or themselves. Traffic laws apply to bicycles, which means no running red lights or splitting traffic, among other potential infractions. If a bicyclist were to run through a stop sign or red light and cause an accident, he or she would be liable for damages even if not directly involved in the accident. Simply forcing another driver to take evasive action that results in a collision with another vehicle or object because the driver was trying to avoid killing the bicyclist would make the bicyclist responsible.
Bicyclists Can Endanger Pedestrians
Pedestrians in particular are vulnerable to injuries from bicyclists who are riding recklessly and not paying attention to their surroundings. Particularly when riding on sidewalks, which is illegal in many communities, bicyclists can be hazardous to the health of pedestrians and themselves. The elderly and young children can be hurt badly if struck by a bicyclist riding at even a moderate pace. And bicyclists can endanger themselves if they ride into the sides of vehicles or are struck by vehicles entering and exiting driveways.
Do you or your family members ride bicycles often, and have you ever been in an accident involving a bicycle, whether riding or driving?