Representation for Bicycle Riders
Riding a bicycle is not only a great way to get fresh air and exercise – it can also be a perfect way to relieve stress. That said, cyclists are expected to obey the same rules of the road as motorists, but do enjoy certain privileges that drivers do not have, like being able to ride on the sidewalk or in designated bike lanes.
When a motorist fails to respect the danger that motor vehicles present to people on bicycles, serious accidents and injuries do occur. If you or someone you know has been in an accident while on a bicycle due to the recklessness of a driver, take action to be compensated for your injuries and suffering. Call a Kansas City car accident lawyer at Norton & Norton, P.C., today at 816-454-5800 to discuss what happened and talk about your options going forward.
Who Has the Right of Way?
For bicyclists, right of way comes down to where the cyclist is and who’s around him or her. When allowed in certain areas on a sidewalk, bicyclists must yield to pedestrians who have the right of way and pass them in a safe and responsible manner. On roadways, however, motorists are expected to yield to bicyclists and give them the right of way to make sure they remain safe. Cyclists need to ride on the right side of the street, and must generally stay as far to the right as possible in order to not obstruct traffic.
The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation provides a handy PDF of all Missouri’s bike-related laws, which they strongly recommend you download, fold in half, and carry with you on your bike. It gives you the information you most need to know.
Staying Safe on a Bicycle
It is important to follow safety guidelines and laws in order to protect yourself while on a bicycle. This can help avoid accidents and potentially reduce injuries if something does happen.
- Wear protective gear – While Missouri law does not require much in the way of protective gear for adult cyclists, it’s still a good idea. Kneepads and elbow coverings can reduce injuries in a minor accident or if you fall off your bike. Helmets may be the single most important piece of protective gear you can wear. In an accident, the most serious injuries usually involve head trauma and brain damage, which can be avoided or reduced by wearing a proper helmet.
- Use lights and reflectors – Missouri law requires appropriate lights and reflectors on any bicycle ridden between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise. During this time, you need to have a front-facing white lamp on your bike, a rear-facing red reflector, and additional reflectors or lights on moving parts of the bike and the sides. If motorists can see you, they’ll be more able to avoid hitting you.
- Be aware of your surroundings – In addition to wearing proper gear, it is important for cyclists to always be aware of what is happening around them. It can be tempting to listen to loud music and forget about the world around you while riding a bike, but this is extremely dangerous. Don’t do it. Mirrors on bicycles can help you remain aware of what is happening behind you, and you should listen for traffic. Not only can this keep you safe, but failing to be mindful of your surroundings might make you partially liable for any accidents that occur.
What Do I Do after an Accident?
If you or a loved one has been struck by a vehicle while on a bicycle, you should first receive any medical treatment necessary. However, do not sign anything from any insurance company or give any statement to an insurance company after the collision. Contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney immediately to make sure your rights are protected.
Call Norton & Norton, P.C., at 816-454-5800 and put us to work for you. Your consultation is free, and if we take your case, we charge you nothing until we recover compensation for your injuries and losses.