In this day and age of mass transit, overcrowded highways, as well as society's increased awareness of our own health and well-being, every day there people choosing to ride bicycles to their destinations. Many cities and towns across North Carolina are bicycle-friendly, like Cary and Carrboro. With increasing bicycle traffic, an increasing number of bicycle accidents has resulted---some causing severe injury and even death. Occasionally these accidents are at the fault of the cyclist, but more often than not, they are the result of careless and reckless behavior of the motor vehicle driver involved.
The State of North Carolina has enacted a number of bicycle laws that were to designed to help protect and ensure the safety of all those who travel on our streets and highways. Though most people are careful and considerate, a careless decision on the part of a driver or cyclist may lead to disastrous consequences.
Raleigh bicycle accident injury lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates help victims of any kind of bicycle accident. If you have been hurt or injured as the result of someone else's carelessness, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Over the past several years, there has been a consistent annual increase in the number of reported bicycle accidents resulting in injury of more than 120% per year. In 2010 there were more than 52,000 injuries resulting from bicycle accidents in the United States. Though most bicycle accidents are only minor in terms of injury, the number of serious and even fatal bicycle accidents is on the rise.
The majority of bicycle accidents result from either poor judgment, distraction, or lack of attention on the part of either party. This can include a motorist's turning or merging into the path of a cyclist, a motorist's misjudging the amount of space needed to safely pass a cyclist, a bicyclist turning into the path of an oncoming vehicle, or the failure of either party to yield the right-of-way to the other when appropriate.
Though more bicyclists are killed in urban areas as opposed to more rural settings, this is certainly a growing problem that should concern everyone. Statistically, the worst time for North Carolina bicycle accidents is during the warmer months, on Friday and Saturday afternoons, between the hours of 3pm and 9pm. The vast majority of all those injured or killed in bicycle accidents are age 16 or older, and 98% of those killed were not wearing a helmet or any other kind of protective gear.
North Carolina Laws for Bicycle Accidents
North Carolina law in particular actually defines bicycles as vehicles and assigns bicycle operators all of the rights and duties of motor vehicle operators on the roads. Numerous studies have proven that cyclists who behave as drivers and follow the general rules of the road are far less likely to be involved in any kind of bicycle accident.
According to the North Carolina Coalition for Bicycle Driving, there are a number of efforts currently underway to help increase awareness of bicycle safety on North Carolina roads and highways. Statistically, more accidents are caused by motor vehicle operators as opposed to bike riders; yet the coalition says it is the responsibility of both parties to ensure the safety of everyone using the road. There are a number of simple steps and precautions that can be taken to make sure everyone has a safe trip. North Carolina state law only requires children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle; yet it is recommended that anyone choosing to ride a bike take this very simple precautionary measure, since only 2% of those killed in North Carolina bicycle accidents were reportedly wearing a helmet.
Legal Rights in North Carolina Bicycle Accidents
At Brent Adams & Associates, our team of bicycle accident injury lawyers in Raleigh has the expertise you need to protect your rights. Every North Carolina bicycle accident is different; it is important you have a lawyer who understands the law and intricacies of these types of injury cases.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or worse killed, in any kind of bicycle accident, whether you were the driver or the cyclist, give us a call so that we can begin discussing your legal options. It will cost you nothing to have your case evaluated by one of our highly experienced bicycle accident injury lawyers in Raleigh. After we have all of the necessary information and have clearly explained your options, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you wish to continue with your case. Your pain and suffering does not have to go uncompensated. Call 877-BRENT-ADAMS or fill out our case evaluation form.