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Car-Bicycle Accidents Still a Danger on the Road

On behalf of Jordan Blad at Alpert & Fellows

Unfortunately, thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle and bicycle collisions each year. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 51,000 bicyclists were injured and more than 600 died in bicycle-motor vehicle crashes in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available.

Recognizing the problem of bicycle accidents, Wisconsin developed a program called Enforcement for Bicycle Safety, which is designed to teach police officers the fundamentals of Wisconsin bicycle laws, enforcement and bicycle safety. The program aims to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Wisconsin by educating police, drivers and bicyclists on bicycle laws that help everyone share the road safely.

Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

Many crashes involving bicyclists are caused by failure to yield the right of way at intersections. A motorist may plow through a red light, speeding while trying to make it through on a yellow, or while simply not paying attention. Conversely, it could be the bicycle rider who ignores a red light while trying to keep up speed. Both drivers and bicyclists may be guilty of failing to check adequately for traffic when proceeding through a stop or yield sign, or when turning right after stopping for a red light.

Other Types of Collisions

Every bicyclist should know to watch out at driveways and alleys for cars that proceed to turn into traffic without stopping or looking for bicyclists on their right. Even drivers who do stop may not notice a bicycle coming into the car’s pathway. In addition, motorists sometimes create an obstacle for bicyclists by changing lanes or turning in front of a bicyclist, or by opening a car door after parking without checking for oncoming bicycles.

Both motorists and bicyclists are responsible for knowing and following Wisconsin traffic laws. But even when bicyclists obey the law, accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident with a motorist who may have negligently caused the collision, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights.