Charlotte Bicycle Accident Attorney
A Brief Look at Bike Accidents and Their Victims
The number of people bicycling as an alternative to driving has increased significantly nationwide, including in Charlotte. Generally speaking, biking to destinations is much better for the planet than traveling by automobile and it allows bikers to avoid daily traffic snarls. That being the case, it is no wonder that an ever-increasing number of people are choosing to bike to school and work. Unfortunately, with more bicyclists on roadways comes a greater risk of bike accident injuries and deaths.
Despite the bicycling revolution that has taken place, many drivers are still unfamiliar with how to share the road with bicyclists. Drivers frequently pass too closely to bikers, fail to give bicyclists the right-of-way as required, open their doors in the paths of oncoming bikers and otherwise do things that can lead to a collision. The fact that drivers do not always know how to safely interact with bicyclists helps to explain why the death toll for bike riders has increased so much in recent years. When a rider is hurt or killed, Charlotte bicycle accident lawyers should be consulted for help providing assistance with making a claim for compensation.
Who is Losing their Lives in Bicycle Collisions?
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) recently published a report entitled Spotlight on Highway Safety: Bicycle Safety. The purpose of the report was to make a close assessment of who were losing their lives in bicycle collisions.
Between 2010 and 2012, there was a one percent overall increase in the number of people killed in all types of motor vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, in that same period of time, the number of bicyclists killed in collisions increased by 16 percent. With so many more riders dying in crashes, it is important to understand why this is occurring. Charlotte bike accident attorneys can help conduct an investigation into the cause of an individual crash, but the GHSA looked at aggregate data to try to develop a deeper understanding of who was being affected.
The report showed that the majority of bicycle collision victims are age 20 or older. In fact, 84 percent of the people killed in bike crashes were adults 20 and up. This is a significant shift from 1975 when the majority of bicycle accident victims were children and only 21 percent of riders killed in fatal accidents were over 20.
The increase in bicyclists losing their lives is largely an urban phenomenon, with 69 percent of the victims of fatal bike collisions living in urban areas. In 1975, only around half of the riders killed were city-dwellers.
The reason that the most likely bike accident victim is now an urban adult is because people in this demographic tend to use bikes to commute much more frequently. Between 2000 and 2013, for example, there was a 62 percent increase in the number of bicycle commuters.
Bike accident attorneys can represent victims of any age group and their family members in pursuing a claim for bike accident compensation after a deadly collision or after a crash that causes injury. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.
Riding a bicycle around the city of Charlotte is a fascinating experience because of the city’s beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, bicyclists in our city and all across North Carolina have to deal with the state’s ridiculously outdated policies and laws regarding cyclists’ rights and liabilities.
The ever-increasing number of registered vehicles in North Carolina and the increasing urban population in Charlotte make bicycle accidents more likely to happen. In recent years, bicycle crashes in Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina have been rising.
Fact: Each year, there are up to 1,000 bicycle-related accidents in North Carolina and about 30 reported deaths, which is higher in many other states.
Our Charlotte bicycle accident attorney from Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, is going to go over the most frequently asked questions by North Carolina cyclists.
What Are North Carolina Laws Regarding Bicyclists?
Like some other states, North Carolina defines a bicycle as a vehicle that is subject to state traffic laws. Therefore, every bicyclist in Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina must follow the same laws and rules as a driver of a passenger car or other motor vehicle. Our experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Charlotte explains that as a result of this law, North Carolina cyclists are not allowed to:
- Operate their bicycles under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Run through a red light
- Ride in the direction of oncoming traffic
North Carolina law also imposes several other rules that require specific actions from bicyclists in the state. These laws state that cyclists must:
- Stay off fully controlled access highways such as interstates
- Take alternate routes when there is a fully controlled access highway
- Have a white light on the front of the bike and red reflector or illumination on the rear
- Wear a helmet while riding a bike only if the rider is under the age of 16 (adults riding a two-wheeler during daylight hours do not need to wear any forms of protective gear and equipment)
Where Are Bicycle Accidents More Likely to Happen in North Carolina?
Although a bicycle accident can occur pretty much anywhere – on a public sidewalk, on a bike lane, on a rural or urban road, or the highway – statistics show that the majority of bicycle-related crashes occur at intersections:
- About 40 percent of bicycle accidents occur at stop signs
- About 30 percent occur at intersections with signals
- About 20 percent occur at intersections without traffic controls
“The remaining 10 percent occur elsewhere,” says our Charlotte bicycle accident attorney from Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC.
What to Do After a Bicycle Collision in North Carolina?
Since bicycles get the same treatment as other vehicles on North Carolina roads, it would make sense if the steps a victim of a bicycle crash had to take after the collision were the same as those taken by a regular car driver.
Therefore, our Charlotte bicycle accident lawyer advises to treat the scene of a bike crash as the scene of a regular car accident:
- Call the police to get a police report
- Exchange information, including insurance information, with the other party or parties involved
- Speak with eyewitnesses and write down their names, phone number, address, and additional information
- Take photos and videos, focusing on the vehicle damages, if any, skid marks, and road conditions
- Contact a Charlotte bicycle accident attorney to gain access to nearby cameras with CCTV footage
Speaking with insurance companies after a bicycle accident when you have not discussed your case with a lawyer would be ill-advised because insurers in North Carolina do whatever it takes to pay injured victims as little as possible.