Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents in Virginia

There are over 45,000 bicycle accidents in the United States annually. Learn the cause of the crashes and how to avoid bicycle accidents in Virginia.

Many Virginia residents ride bicycles. It is great for exercising and getting around. Unfortunately, doing this puts bicycle riders at risk of getting into an accident. There are so many factors that can lead to a bike accident. While some of them are within your control, others are not. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid bicycle accidents in Virginia. If you were hit by a car while riding a bike, reach out to one of our bike accident lawyers in Richmond to see if we can help.

Bicycle accidents are pretty common. The National Safety Council reports that the number of preventable deaths involving bicycles increased by 6% in 2019. In addition, Advocacy Advance revealed that about 675 cyclists were killed in 2020, with more than one-fourth of these deaths caused by hit-and-run accidents. Consequently, cyclists must learn how to stay safe while riding.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Virginia

Several factors can cause bicycle accidents. We take a look at some of the most common here.

Drunk Driving

Drunk drivers are responsible for a significant number of accidents and injuries annually. In addition, drunk drivers have their ability to make decisions impaired, making them extremely dangerous to other road users.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is also dangerous. Drivers could be carried away by their attempts to change the song playing in the car, texting, or making calls. This often makes them distracted and unable to spot potentially dangerous situations or road hazards, which can easily lead to accidents.

Bad Weather Conditions

Bad weather conditions contribute to accidents as it is usually harder to ride in such situations. Therefore, it’s advisable not to cycle in bad weather conditions as you are more likely to get into an accident than a car or truck.

Common Bike Accident Injuries

Injuries sustained by cyclists vary depending on the accident they get into. For example, you’re less likely to suffer severe injuries if you were hit slightly by a car while in traffic. On the other hand, you could require serious care if you are hit by a speeding vehicle.

Common injuries include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, fractures, and whiplash. In addition, a bicycle injury victim could also suffer a spinal cord injury.

Can You Get Damages for a Bicycle Accident?

There are legal provisions for people who have been in accidents caused by another person’s negligence to recover damages. Bicycle accident victims are also eligible for this. So when you get into a crash, you can file a bicycle accident claim to recover fair settlements.

When you file a bicycle injury claim, the damages you receive are often similar to what you would get in many personal injury claims. You will be able to receive financial compensation that covers the cost of your medical care, replacing your bike, or any other property damaged in the accident. Depending on the accident’s severity, you may be unable to work. Therefore, you could receive compensation to replace lost earnings.

What You Should Do After A Bicycle Accident

As we have pointed out, you can receive compensation after a bike accident. However, there are things you must do to ensure your claim for compensation succeeds. The first thing should be visiting a hospital for a medical checkup. Doing this will make you aware of any hidden injury and create proof of the medical expenses you incurred.

You should also see a bicycle accident lawyer. Most lawyers offer a free consultation, so take advantage of it to determine if you have a good claim. Getting a bicycle accident attorney will put you in a good position when negotiating with an insurance company or filing a bicycle accident lawsuit. In some cases, you’ll get a visit from an insurance adjuster. Ensure that you do not speak to them without your lawyer.

Tips To Avoid Bicycle Accidents in Virginia

Preventing an accident is always a better option than getting damages. This section looks at some tips that will help you to avoid a bike collision.

Don’t Assume Drivers Will See You

Many bicycle riders make the mistake of assuming that drivers will see them. For your safety, always assume that the other driver can’t see you quickly and make it easier for them to see you. This could mean that you use hand signals to indicate what you intend to do.

Use Gear That Makes You Visible

When you’re riding on regular roads, bicycles are significantly smaller, so it is essential that car drivers can spot you easily. Bike riders can improve their chances of being spotted by wearing bright colors. This includes bike helmets and jerseys. Wear reflective clothing. When riding at night, ensure that you have your lights on. Do not ride your bicycle if your lights are bad.

Choose a Safe Lane Position

One effective way of making yourself visible is your lane choice. Not every road will have a bike lane, but you should always use them when available. Even on roads with a bicycle lane, you should take a position that offers you more visibility.

Avoid Arterial Roads

Arterial roads often have a heavy flow of traffic, multiple lanes, and higher speed limits. Therefore, bike riders should avoid them even if they have a bike path.

Obey Traffic Laws

A lot of accidents can be prevented if motorists obey traffic control devices. Things as simple as following the traffic light could protect a bike rider from incoming vehicles.

In addition to all these, riders should ensure that they always check the condition of their bicycles, exercise caution when riding close to vehicles with blind spots, and respect the right of way of pedestrians. Riders must also ensure they park far from car doors when in parking lots.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia

As a bicycle accident victim, you may be eligible for compensation. Bike accidents are a type of personal injury and fall under our purview as personal injury attorneys. The Richmond personal injury attorneys at VACAIL provide legal counsel and representation for bike crash victims. Give us a call today and schedule a free consultation.

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