Bicycle Accidents

Reno Bicycle Accident Attorney

With the increasing amount of Americans opting for bicycles as a form of commuting, recreation and exercise, the potential that they will be involved in a road traffic accident increases as well. In fact, accidents involving bicyclists and other riders of non-motorized vehicles have been a major issue for long time. Whether it's a rural or suburban community or a congested metropolitan city, riders face danger every time they step on their bikes and share the roads with motor vehicles. When the negligence of a driver causes an accident that injures a cyclist, victims have the right to seek compensation for the damages they suffered by filing a personal injury claim.

Bike Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 716 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents and an additional 52,000 were injured in 2008 alone. Cyclist deaths account for approximately 2% of all car accident and traffic fatalities. These concerning figures highlight the danger involved when vulnerable bicycle riders must share the public roads with cars and other massive machines. What is even more concerning are the facts that roughly one out of seven cyclists killed in traffic crashes are between 5 and 15 years old and that one out three bicycle accidents are alcohol related, most notably involving drunk driving accidents.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

On the roads, bicycles are, by law, considered to be vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Despite this fact, many drivers frequently disregard riders and endanger them by practicing unsafe driving habits. As the statistics prove that sharing the roads can result in devastating consequences, the Nevada Revised Statutes § 484B.270 establishes several laws for drivers when driving near bicycle riders. These responsibilities and requirements were created because the failure to obey them commonly cause bicycle accidents. Motorists must:

  • Give warning with horn to avoid any collisions
  • Exercise responsible care to avoid collisions with riders
  • Not enter or continue through an intersections while in a designated bike lane
  • Never enter, stop, stand, park or driver in bike lanes
  • Always yield to the right of way of bicycle riders
  • Never overtake or pass a rider unless it can be done safely without endangerment
  • Never intentionally interfere with the movement of anyone lawfully riding a bicycle

Government organizations and law enforcement agencies have cracked down on enforcing bicycle safety laws, but drivers still continue to disobey many of these safe driving practices. Bicycle accidents are caused, a majority of the time, by driver error, particularly at intersections, in congested cities and on two lane roads. Drunk driving and distracted driving are also a common cause of bicycle accidents. In some cases, bicycle accidents may be caused by poorly maintained public roads, which can make cities and government entities liable for any injuries their negligence caused.

The consequences of these accidents can be devastating. As with motorcycle accidents, bicycle riders wear little protection and are vulnerable to suffering numerous injuries. Brain damage, broken bones and spinal cord injuries are common in bike accidents. In addition, many bicycle accidents caused by negligent drivers result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

Protecting the Rights of Victims: Shook & Stone

Bicycle riders have numerous rights on our roadways and when negligent drivers disobey traffic laws or put riders in danger, injured victims can pursue legal actions that will allow them to receive compensation for any physical, emotional and financial damages their injuries caused. With 85 years of combined experience and more than $100 million in compensation recovered for clients since 1997, Shook & Stone is prepared to bring your bicycle accident case to a favorable resolution. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us today.

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