Bikes and Pedestrians Are No Match For Cars
In the last couple of years, I have seen an increase in the number of new bike and pedestrian injury cases in my practice. Unfortunately, injury severity is markedly increased when a biker or pedestrian encounters an inattentive person driving a car.
In 2013 alone, there were 867 pedestrian injuries and 35 deaths from pedestrian versus car incidents. Of the 35 deaths, 13 occurred while pedestrians were simply crossing the road. The leading 3 causes of these incidents were drivers failing to the yield right of way, driver inattention, and visual obstructions.
Things you can do as a pedestrian to reduce the risk of pedestrian versus car incidents include:
1. Obey all traffic control devices;
2. Limit crossings to corners or, better yet, areas with crosswalks;
3. Increase your visibility at night by wearing reflective clothing; and
4. Use sidewalks when available.
There were also 862 bicycle versus car incidents, which caused 822 injuries and 6 deaths in 2013. Bike accident injuries were most often recorded during the months of June, July, August, and September, with most injuries occurring during the rush hour (3:00 pm to 5:00 p.m.).
Safety tips for bicyclists include:
1. Ride in the same direction as traffic;
2. Ride as close as practicable to the right;
3. Obey all traffic control devices; and
4. Use signals when turning.
Drivers of motor vehicles must adhere to the rules of the road when it comes to being safe. Minnesota laws require that:
1. Motorists treat every corner and intersection as a crosswalk, whether it’s marked or unmarked, and drivers must stop for crossing pedestrians.
2. Motorists overtaking a bicycle or pedestrian proceeding in the same direction on the roadway must leave a safe distance between (at least three feet clearance) when passing and must maintain that clearance until safely past.
3. Motorists must not pass other motorists in front of them stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the roadway.
Other tips for drivers include:
1. Scan the road and sidewalks ahead for pedestrians and bikers.
2. Drive attentively and at safe speeds.
3. Anticipate pedestrians and bikers especially in urban areas, around schools and playgrounds.
4. Look carefully behind your vehicle before backing up, especially for small children.
If you or loved one are involved in a pedestrian or biking accident it is important to consult with an experienced Know Your Rights personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call or submit your case inquiry online 24/7. We’re here to help.