With several airbags and active safety systems, cars are safer than ever, but what about bicycles on our roads?
A helmet is the most significant protection for cyclists, as is a well serviced and properly maintained bike. But the actions of others are beyond a riders’ control, and drivers need to know that simple principles such as attention, consideration and patience will help avoid collisions with bike riders. When a car collides with a bicycle, it’s always the cyclist that suffers significantly.
For this reason it’s vital that drivers keep in mind the legal rights of cyclists – bike riders share our roads and are legally entitled to do so.
What are the common causes of incidents involving cars and bikes?
• As with all motor vehicle accidents, the primary cause of incidents with bike riders is inattention and distracted driving. If drivers text or talk on the phone instead of looking at what’s going on around them, this invites a very serious and possibly even deadly outcome.
• Not adjusting the driving distance when passing cyclists – vehicles passing within one meter of cyclists increase the risk of a collision.
• Speeding is one of the biggest causes of incidents between cars and bikes / riders, just as it is in every accident.
• Cycling on roads reserved for motor vehicles is one of the mistakes made by a small percentage of riders – it’s important to know where you can and can not ride.
• Visibility, or riders not being seen by a driver, particularly if the driver turns into the path of a rider (ie turning left or right at an intersection).
• Accidents caused by people – riders and drivers -who do not obey traffic rules is substantial.
• If the driver consumes substances that slow reflexes or reduce vision, such as alcohol or drugs, it means that he or she is inviting an accident. It should also be noted that insomnia has a similar effect on drivers.
• Car doorings – sadly many riders are injured or have near misses due to the sudden opening of a car doors.
• Ergonomic problems due to a rider not using a suitable bicycle for themselves, and the quality and durability of the bike also plays a role in preventing accidents.
Am I entitled to claim compensation after bicycle incident or accident?
If you are a cyclist who has been in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to various benefits. Since each state has its own law, this blog will focus on NSW. Here are the potential entitlements:
✓ Medical expenses support
✓ Income support payments
✓ Lump sum payout for future loss of income
✓ Lump sum payout for pain and suffering
The compensation benefits are awardable are including but not limited to the severity of the injury (permanent impairment), financial loss, age, and whether the person was at fault or not. A personal injury lawyer will help you figure out what kind of information and documentation you’ll need to claim motor accident compensation.
Statistical overview of incidents involving bike riders in Australia
In a study conducted in Australia, the rates of injury, hospitalisation, and death during cycling were determined. In this study, the period from 1999 to 2016 was examined and the following conclusions were reached.
- 1 out of 5 people hospitalised due to an accident within a year were hospitalised due to a bicycle accident.
- About 60% of cyclists admitted to hospital have fractures.
- Regarding the period from 1999-00 to 2015-16, the following statistics were determined:
- 651 cyclists died as a result of the accident.
- Approximately 80% of the cyclists who lost their lives were aged 25 or above with 90% being male.
- During this time, more than 160,000 cyclists were hospitalised (more than about 9,000 people each year).
- The rate of hospitalisation for bicycle accidents has increased by almost 1.5% each year.
- While the rate of hospitalisation after an accident decreased for other road users during this period, it increased for cyclists.
- In addition, the extent of injury in accidents increased with the age of the cyclist who had an accident. Accordingly, with increasing age, the severity of the injury increased. The study shows that the rate of hospitalisation is higher in bicycle accidents over the age of 45. In addition, the time to discharge from the hospital is longer over the age of 45.
Free Legal Advice
If you have suffered a cycling injury you can contact an experienced motor accident injury lawyer to know your entitlements. Motor accident injury claims are complex, and they may take several years to settle. It’s highly recommended to contact a firm that works on a No Win No Fee basis to minimise financial risk. You can contact Withstand Lawyers if you have further questions about the legal procedure.