Riding a bicycle is a great way to get around Columbia because you get to breathe fresh air, get your body moving, and help the environment by choosing a greener option compared to driving. Even though biking is a great choice in many ways, it can also be dangerous because cars aren’t always great at sharing the road with cyclists.
When a vehicle collides with you on your bicycle, you could use the help of a Columbia bicycle accident lawyer from The Solomon Law Group. We will look into what caused your accident, who was responsible, and what you can recover for your injuries and damages.
Bicycle accidents in traffic can be deadly. In 2018, collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles caused the deaths of 857 bicyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Let’s take a look at the injuries commonly sustained in bicycle accidents, and why these types of collisions can be so deadly.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
South Carolina is considered one of the deadliest states for pedestrians and bicyclists. Local news reports that over 900 pedestrians and bicyclists have died on our state’s roads in the past six years, which is what makes South Carolina’s roads so deadly. When bicyclists are struck by a motor vehicle, the injuries and damages can be deadly because of the force that the bicyclist’s body takes from the impact.
Unlike the drivers and passengers of motor vehicles, cyclists are more exposed to the elements and are more likely to be injured in one of these collisions. On top of this, the injuries have the risk of being more severe because of the size, weight, and force that an automobile crashes into the cyclist with. Here are some of the injuries that a bicyclist could sustain when they are struck by a car:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Sprains and strains
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
When you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you could need help paying for the costs of care that you have to pay for treatment, medication, and other bills that you incurred. A Columbia bicycle accident attorney could help you financially recover from these costs and more, depending on your situation. One of our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing.
South Carolina Bicycle Safety Laws
In order to avoid bicycle accidents and the injuries and damages that are caused by them, bicyclists should understand and abide by our state’s bicycle safety laws. Of course, following the rules can only prevent so many collisions when drivers also must stay alert and follow the rules of the road. Still, knowing South Carolina’s bicycle safety laws can help cyclists feel as safe as possible on the road.
Here are some of the general rules that bicyclists must follow in the state of South Carolina, according to Article 27 of the state’s motor vehicle code:
- Bikers should use the bike lane when there is one designated, and otherwise need to ride as far to the right of the lane as possible, but do not have to ride on the shoulder.
- Bicyclists must have a white light on the front of the bike and a red reflector on the back of their bike if they’re riding at night.
- Bicycles must have a working brake.
- A bicyclist must signal appropriately when making a turn.
Motor vehicles must respect bicyclists on the roads and share the pavement with them. If a driver breaks the law and gets too close to a cyclist, doors them, or cuts them off and causes an accident, then the cyclist could have a bicycle accident claim. At The Solomon Law Group, one of our experienced lawyers could help.
How to Prevent Bicycle Accidents as a Cyclist
The NHTSA has tips for cyclists so that they can feel as safe as possible while riding their bikes on the road. While wearing a helmet, following state laws, and adhering to the rules of the road are all great ways to avoid collisions, there are more ways that cyclists can be preventative while riding. Here are some of the tips that the NHTSA lists to ensure bicyclists are prepared before they ride on the roads:
- Get the right sized bicycle for you.
- Ride a bike that works and has reflectors and lights.
- Find and wear helmets and other equipment that fits.
- Wear gear that increases visibility, like light colors and reflective vests.
- Ride with one person on the seat and both hands on the handlebars.
- Tie and tuck in your shoelaces so they don’t get caught in your chain.
- Plan your route ahead of time so that you know where you’re going.
- Drive defensively and don’t assume that drivers see you or that they will follow the rules of the road.
- Stay in a bike lane whenever possible.
- Obey traffic signs.
- Properly signal for turns.
- Remain completely focused on the road—no distractions like texting or calls.
When you know what you’re doing and ride confidently, you can feel safer about riding your bike on the road and sharing the space with cars. When you’re timid and unsure of where you’re going or what you should be doing, you’re more likely to get into an accident because you’re not paying attention to traffic and everything else around you.
Before riding your bike on the road, it’s best to take a bicycle safety course so that you know what to expect and how to react to sharing the road. Even when you’re on your best behavior, though, accidents can still happen. That’s why our Columbia bicycle accident lawyer is here for you.
Hire The Solomon Law Group to Represent You
Bicycle accidents can be devastating. At The Solomon Law Group, we understand that the days and weeks following any kind of accident are a vulnerable time. That’s why we’re here to help ensure that you can focus on healing while we focus on getting you justice for the injuries and damages you suffered as a result of a collision that wasn’t your fault.
Our experienced Columbia bicycle accident attorney will investigate what happened and calculate the damages so we can fight for fair compensation for you. Reach out to our office today so we can discuss your legal options.