How are Cyclists Responsible for Road Collisions and Other Types of Accidents?

The bicycle has recently become one of the most favored means of transportation for commuting to work or travelling, being convenient and environment friendly. Unfortunately, this trend is accompanied by higher risks of accidents that often result in catastrophic injuries. And in most cases, the other passenger vehicle’s driver is held liable for not paying attention to the bicyclists while driving.

However, the recklessness or inattention of other motorists is not always the reason for bicycle accidents, and sometimes the responsibility falls on the bicyclist. In cases where the bicyclists ignore or break state or local laws, such as not wearing a helmet, they are held liable for the accident, even if they suffer injuries.

Here’s an explanation of how cyclists are responsible for road collisions and other types of accidents to help you understand before you hit the road!

When Are Cyclists Responsible for Road Accidents?

For Breaking Traffic Rules

Although bicycles are not subject to insurance and licensing requirements, they are not exempted from obeying traffic rules. Bicyclists should not use the sidewalk or crosswalk but designated bike lanes. In addition, they must stop at the red light, use a hand signal when turning, yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and follow other traffic laws.

Disobeying or ignoring any of the traffic laws may hold a cyclist responsible, even if they’re injured, and they may not be able to seek any financial or medical compensation. For example, bicyclists who fail to stop at traffic lights or other traffic signs and are struck by a vehicle may be partially or fully responsible for injuries.

For Not Wearing Reflective Clothing at Night

The bicyclist may be at least partially liable for an accident if the accident occurred at night and they were not wearing reflective clothing or did not have reflective gear on the bicycle.

In Nevada, for example, bicyclists riding at night are required to:

  • Wear reflective clothing
  • Mount a light on their bicycle’s front and a rear reflector visible from 500 feet away
  • Mount reflective material on the bike’s sides that can be seen from at least 600 feet away, etc.

If the bicyclist does not comply with state laws, the driver can validly plead in defense that they did not see the person on the bicycle.

For Not Having Enough Brakes

Most states require bicycles to have enough brakes to stop without skidding. If the bike drifts into another lane or makes an unpredictable movement due to brake failure, the bicyclist may be at fault. However, the manufacturer may be liable if the brakes fail due to a manufacturing or installation fault.

For Excessive Speed

If the cyclist has an excessively high speed, they may be partially responsible for the accident. One of the most common bicycle accidents caused by an overspeeding cyclist is a collision with a pedestrian. In a pedestrian-bicycle collision, the pedestrian has the right to report to emergency services and the police and file a personal injury claim since bicycles are legally treated the same as cars.

Final Thoughts!

Always use caution when riding a bicycle, comply with all laws regarding bicycle use, and do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident. If you are in such a situation and need legal assistance in Nevada, contact Bourassa Law Group, a trusted law firm specializing in personal injury claims in bicycles and other accidents.

The Bourassa Law Group has a team of personal injury attorneys specialized in processing bicycle accident claims. Your personal injury lawyer will accompany you throughout the process, help you recognize your rights, and fight to get you the fairest compensation.

Call us at (800)870-8910 for a free consultation!

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