Research by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of cyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents has increased 16% in just two years. Car crash deaths, meanwhile, have increased only 1% in the same time period.
The study found that rider carelessness was a leading factor in fatal bicycle accidents, specifically failure to wear a helmet and riding while drunk. West Virginia law states that bikes enjoy the same privileges and are subject to the same responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles.
Not every bicycle accident is the fault of the cyclist, but it pays to be safe and prepared. Steps you can take to reduce your risk of serious injuries in a collision with a vehicle include:
- Wear a helmet and other safety gear.
- Place a light on the front of your bike and a reflector on the back to make you more visible at night (required by state law).
- Stay on the shoulder of the road or in designated bike lanes.
- Avoid alcohol before a bike ride – don’t drink and pedal.
- Use a bell and appropriate hand signals to alert other drivers when you turn or perform other actions.
Bicycling has many benefits, so it only makes sense to keep your ride enjoyable and safe. If you take all precautions but still get hurt due to a driver’s recklessness, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your accident injuries.
Please contact Jim Leach, L.C., or call 1 304-865-8530 to discuss the details of your accident claim in a no-cost consultation.