You can expect to see more people riding bicycles through your local neighborhood and urban streets as the weather heats up. People are more likely to ride a bicycle when the weather is warm than they are in the cold temperatures of fall and winter.
Besides warmer weather, more and more people are using bicycles to travel around town because of their cost and accessibility. If you live in a larger city you may have even seen some of the bikes (bikeshares) that can be used by anyone with a few dollars and a corresponding app on their phone. They are everywhere in Charlotte! It’s important to keep in mind that bicycle accidents can be very serious and that because of the limited protection that a bicyclist may have, their injuries can be catastrophic.
People don’t leave their homes with the intention of being in or causing any type of accident. That is why they are called “accidents.” Unfortunately, thousands of accidents happen every day across the Carolinas. Even though they may not be intentional, many are avoidable.
Focused drivers that are mindful of traffic laws and aware of their surroundings travel with fewer chances of causing an accident. Be one of those drivers! Here are some summer bicycle safety tips for both cyclists and drivers.
Any person riding a bicycle should be wearing a helmet. It is even a safer to wear elbow and knee pads. Very few people go to the extent of utilizing all of the safety equipment that they should! Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury by as much as 88 percent. With a helmet and pads you may not walk away from an accident unscathed, but you are significantly increasing your odds of surviving a car versus bicycle accident scenario.
Many people believe that it is safer to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk and don’t understand why some areas make it illegal to do so. Their theory is that it is safer to ride on the street with vehicles because drivers don’t pay as much attention to what is on the sidewalk as they do to what is on the road. Others argue that riding away from the road is safer. Either way, you should always follow your local traffic laws and know when it is appropriate to your bike on the sidewalk as opposed to riding on the street.
When you were young, the adults in your life may have told you to ride against traffic so you could see what was coming at you. It makes sense, but isn’t the right way to ride a bike. You should ride with traffic for the greatest amount of safety. In many cities it’s actually the law.
It’s tempting to pop in your ear buds and pedal out of your driveway but you are putting yourself in danger. You shouldn’t have anything in your ears or attached to your handle bars that could distract you from what is going on around you. Keep your focus on the road ahead and don’t let your tunes distract you.
A good safety tip that not everyone mentions is this: Be predictable. Don’t swerve in and out of traffic, be sure to signal your turns and don’t break suddenly if you don’t have to. A vehicle driver doesn’t expect you to make sudden maneuvers and may not be able to react to you with enough time to prevent.
Sharing the road with bicyclists is annoying to some drivers but the reality is that bicyclists have the same right to be on the road as others. Here are some things you can do as a driver to prevent colliding with a bicycle.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents across the country. While you may notice a vehicle out of the corner of your eye while you are paying attention to something else, you are less likely to see a bicycle. Stay focused and attentive when you are behind the wheel.
Too many accidents (especially those involving bicycles) could have been prevented with the simple act of letting someone go, or yielding. There are specific rules that govern right of ways and when to yield. Besides failing to yield because of negligence, there are times when letting the other person go may not just be the friendly or lawful thing to do, it also may be the safest option. Always use your best judgment but if you can prevent an accident why not?
Take a look over your left shoulder before you open a car door if you park on the street. There are hundreds of bicycle riders injured each year because they run into a car door that opened unexpectedly. It’s a simple and quick thing to do to check your blind spot before you open your door into the street.
If you are the type of driver who loves to turn up the volume and rock out, reconsider your habits. There is no way you will be able to hear a cyclist yell for your attention if your radio is at full volume. Stay focused!
Keep a watchful eye on corners and near alleyway, driveways and road obstructions. A cyclist could dart out from any one of these places before you know it. If you can’t see behind what is ahead of you, slow down a bit before you pass it.
No one wants to be involved in a bicycle versus car or truck collision. If it happens to you and you suffer an injury, you may have the right to compensation. After a bicycle accident in Charlotte, North Carolina or elsewhere, reach out to our team to learn more about your legal rights! Our consultations are free and it will never cost you any money to see if we can help you.
Bicycle versus vehicle accidents can cause severe injuries. Some of these injuries may heal with time, and others can be lifelong. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, you may be interested in seeking compensation from the at-fault party for medical bills and more. The steps you took following your accident will have an impact on the outcome of your case.
Your emotions are obviously heightened following any accident. This can make it difficult to behave appropriately as it pertains to a potential lawsuit. These are the steps that should have been taken after your accident and they are the steps you should take if you are involved in an accident in the future.
The first thing to do after an accident is to call 911. If you are unable to make the phone call yourself, ask a witness to do it for you. The dispatcher will determine what type of emergency assistance you need, sending you the police, fire or medical personnel as required.
If you are injured, do not refuse medical treatment. In some instances, your injuries are minor and you think that you can take care of them at home. This may be true, but you could have injuries that aren’t obvious and need to be appropriately diagnosed by a doctor. If you don’t seek medical attention, your case could be negatively impacted.
When the police arrive, they will ask you questions. Be honest when answering the questions so that the police can file the correct information with their report. The officer will likely want to know your personal information as well as your account of the accident.
It’s important that you remain as calm as you can. Do not engage the person you believe to be at fault for the accident. While you can certainly accept their assistance if you’ve been injured, do not discuss details of the collision with the other party.
After you have taken the first four steps, your last will be to call a local, experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can advise you of any further steps you need to take and, after discussing your accident with you, can advise you of any other actions you need to take. If another person was at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any monies you have to pay out as a result of your injuries or property damage.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North or South Carolina, reach out to our office. We will help you arrange a free case evaluation at which time we will advise you of your legal rights. Call today to discover more about your options or browse our website to learn more about our firm and the types of cases we handle.
Did your little one get a new bicycle for the holidays? If so, it’s a good time to remind yourself, and your child, of bicycle safety rules. A great way to do that is to discuss the myths surrounding safe riding. See if your child believes any of these and dispel them if they do.
1. It’s Safer to Ride Facing Traffic
This is an old myth that people have stood by. The fact is that nearly one-fourth of bicycle collisions occur when a rider is facing against traffic. Your child should always ride with traffic and, where permitted, on the sidewalk.
2. Helmets Are Only Needed on Long Rides
Many parents believe that helmets aren’t necessary for short rides around the neighborhood. According to statistics, this simply isn’t true. Most bike crashes occur within a mile of the home. If your child is on a bike, they should be wearing a helmet.
3. A Football Helmet Will Work
A bicycle helmet is designed specifically to protect the head from a fall that occurs while riding a bicycle. A football helmet is designed to protect your child’s head while they are playing football. The two helmets are designed differently. Your child should wear protection that is designed for their activity.
4. Reflectors Make Night Riding Safe
Reflectors may make it easier for your child to be seen, but they don’t make it any safer for your child to ride at night. Your young child does not have the skills necessary to ride before dusk or after dawn.
5. Hand Signals Cause a Rider to Lose Control
Many parents hesitate to teach their children hand signals for bike riding because they are afraid of their children losing control of the bicycle. Yes, your child will have to remove a hand from the handlebar, but it’s more dangerous to not alert a vehicle or pedestrian to their intention. If your child cannot maintain control of their bike with one had briefly off of the handlebars, they should stick to practicing in the driveway.
Any child who is permitted to ride a bicycle should know how to do so safely. Use the talking points above to have a conversation with your child now that they have a shiny new bicycle. When your child knows how to ride a bike safely, you have peace of mind in letting them enjoy themselves.
No parent wants their child to be injured in a bicycle accident. If your little one is in an bicycle versus vehicle accident in Charlotte, you may have the right to compensation for any medical bills you incur. If the accident was the fault of the driver, you have legal rights you should be aware of. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your child’s accident and advise you of the appropriate next steps. Reach out to our team or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.
If you live in Charlotte, you may be dreading the coming season. Wet, snowy and cold weather may soon be upon us, meaning an end to warm-weather activities. Whether you ride your bicycle to get to work or school or simply ride for pleasure, you might be involved in a sort of countdown to when those wheels get hung up. Not so fast.
If you really want to ride your bike throughout the winter season, you certainly can. All it takes is a few changes in your habits. None of the changes you need to make are difficult, and none will cost a ton of money or time. Keep reading to discover how you can keep your wheels on the ground this winter.
You know enough to wear an outer layer that’s waterproof, but what are you wearing underneath? If you aren’t wearing breathable layers, you’ll be wet from sweat instead of rain. Look for clothes that breathe to wear underneath your winter-weather gear. That way you stay dry throughout your layers.
If you wear sunglasses while you ride, ditch the dark lenses for ones that are clear or yellow. Dark lenses will inhibit your sight in low light conditions, like around the early sunsets of winter.
Just like your car, your bicycle will take longer to brake in wet weather. Keep this in mind when you are riding and brake sooner than you otherwise would. Also bear in mind that braking through a rain slick or puddle will be different than simply braking on slick roads.
Speaking of slick roads, the rain will bring oil to the surface. The edges of oil slicks will have a rainbow-like appearance. If you see these, avoid them. Also be aware that any metal objects like manholes or bridges will be slippery and should be ridden over carefully.
If you are rounding a corner, try to lean your body more than your bike. The more upright your bike, the faster you can take a corner in the wet weather. If you can’t get the hang of leaning properly, just slow down. Either will work fine.
Don’t leave home without telling someone you are heading out. While this is true any time you decide to ride your bike, it’s especially important in inclement weather. Let someone know what time you will be leaving, where you are going and the route you are taking to get there. Make a plan to check in with that person every 30 minutes or so.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, you have rights. Reach out to our office today to schedule a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal rights. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.
No matter how careful you drive, it can be difficult to avoid bicyclists who aren’t obeying the rules of the road. If you are a cyclist, it can be difficult to avoid drivers who aren’t aware of their surroundings. When everyone on the road acts responsibly and looks out for one another, some of the collisions between bicycles and vehicles can be prevented. Here are some of the most common accidents involving bikes and cars and what you can do to avoid them.
You’re driving along when all of a sudden a bicyclist rolls out of a driveway or alley directly into your path. You have no time to react and hit the cyclist. This accident could have been avoided.
If you are on a bicycle, do not pull straight out into a roadway. Always look both ways to make sure the way is clear before you leave an alley or driveway. If you are driving a vehicle, drive at speeds that are appropriate for the area you are in. If there are cars lining the road in a residential neighborhood making it difficult for you to see, slow down.
Accidents at intersections happen for a variety of reasons that can be attributed to cyclists and drivers. If you are on a bicycle, remember that you must follow the traffic signals just as a driver has to. If you are a driver, be sure to look both ways, even if you have the right of way. Anyone approaching an intersection should make sure the way is clear no matter what type of machine they are operating.
It’s not unusual for a cyclist to cut down a wrong-way street thinking that it will be safer than riding with traffic. Unfortunately, drivers are less likely to be looking for things heading their way when they are on a one-way street.
As a bicyclist, avoid the temptation to travel the wrong way. If you are a driver, don’t assume that you won’t be running into anything ahead of you. Keep your eyes up and on the road. If you encounter a cyclist, slow down and let them pass.
Both bicyclists and drivers make left turns without signaling and without the right to do so. These maneuvers are often the most risky for bicyclists. If you are in a car, always look over your left shoulder before you turn left. If you are on a bike, do the same. It’s important to make sure that there is nothing next to you before you make a turn.
Some accidents between bicycles and vehicles cannot be avoided. But by driving cautiously, both cyclists and drivers can keep each other safer on the road. If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, you have legal rights. Reach out to our team today for more information about the types of compensation you may be entitled to. Our team is here to help you take the next steps appropriate to your unique situation.
If you are involved in a bicycle versus auto accident, you are understandably shaken. If you are lucky enough to escape the incident with minor injuries, you may be wondering what steps to take. The choices you make following such a collision could determine the outcome of any civil lawsuit you choose to file.
The aftermath of a bike accident is not that different from what needs to happen after a car accident. Follow these tips should you find yourself in this situation.
The first thing you want to do, of course, is determine if you are injured. If you are, you will want to call 911 to summon emergency services. If you aren’t, calling 911 is still a good idea. You will want a police report of the incident.
If you aren’t injured and your bicycle isn’t damaged, you may think it’s okay to hop back on and ride away. Before you do, consider that you could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. You may also be hurting your chances for compensation should you determine in the coming days that you were indeed injured. Stay where you are until the police tell you you can leave.
Exchange information with all people involved in the accident. You will want to give the vehicle’s driver your name and contact information. You may also give them the contact information for your insurance company if your home insurance policy covers such accidents. You will want to get the same information from the other driver, including information for their auto insurance agency.
Even if you believe that you have not sustained any injury, it’s still important to seek medical attention. You may have injuries that won’t become apparent for several days. Seeking attention from a medical professional will keep you open to receiving compensation should you decide to file a civil suit.
A personal injury attorney understands the laws as they pertain to these types of accidents. An attorney can review the collision and advise you of the types and amounts of compensation you may be entitled to. An attorney can also help you discuss a settlement with the driver’s insurance company if that is what you choose to do.
Being involved in a bicycle accident is a frightening experience. Do your best to remain calm after the accident and take the appropriate steps. Under no circumstances should you lose your cool and make matters worse.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North or South Carolina, call our office. We will help you schedule a free case evaluation at which time we will help you determine your legal options. Reach out to us today to schedule your appointment. You do not have to suffer financially or otherwise due to someone’s negligence or error. You have rights and we are here to protect them.
Many people believe that biking is a safer mode of transportation than, say, driving a vehicle. It makes sense: Bicycles do not travel as fast, they aren’t permitted on highways and, in a pinch, can be maneuvered into tighter spaces. All of that said, bicycle accident do occur, and they occur frequently.
When a person is involved in a bicycle accident, especially an accident with a motor vehicle, they may sustain catastrophic injuries. In some instances, bicycle accidents are so serious that they result in a fatality. Being hurt in a bicycle accident is painful and scary, and we are frequently contacted by bicycle accident victims that want to know what they may be entitled to under the law.
Do I need a lawyer for my bicycle accident? Call us and we can help you figure out if a hiring our firm is the right decision for you following your bicycle accident. Below is some of the information that we will want to discuss with you.
Negligence is one of the elements that must be proven in any personal injury lawsuit. When the other party involved in the accident is cited for a traffic infraction it can be a helpful fact in proving your case. Please note that just because the other driver did not get a ticket, it doesn’t mean that the other driver was not responsible for causing the accident.
In order to have a successful personal injury lawsuit, you must have been injured in some way. This is easy to prove if you received medical care. Whether you had a doctor’s appointment to treat your injury or were hospitalized, your medical records from all of your medical providers will be necessary in proving your injury case.
Maybe it wasn’t you that were injured in the bicycle accident, but it was your child that was involved in an accident. Drivers may be held to a different standard of care if a child was involved. This can be an important fact in proving that the other driver breached their duty of care.
If your bicycle was damaged in the accident, don’t throw it away. Taking pictures of the damaged bicycle and storing it away for potential use as evidence later on can be essential to illustrating how the accident happened or the seriousness of the accident.
At the time of the accident, were you riding with the flow of traffic? If the accident was not during daylight hours, was your bicycle equipped with lamps that were turned on? Were wearing a helmet? If you can prove that you took all of the precautions necessary for a person riding a bicycle, you may have an easier time being successful with your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Call Auger & Auger for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, our team of attorneys is ready to represent you in court. Call today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation and let us tell you how we can be of assistance. We will review every aspect of your case to help you determine whether or not you have a solid case to bring to court.
When you were a child learning how to ride a bike, your parents undoubtedly gave you all sorts of advice. One of the things they may have told you the first time you went rolling down the road by yourself was to ride facing traffic. It makes sense. When you ride on the wrong side of the road, you can see what’s coming.
Unfortunately, and we must apologize to Mom and Dad for saying this: You were given bad advice. Pedaling on the wrong side of the road is not only more dangerous than riding with traffic but, in most areas, it is against the law. While no police officer is going to give a six-year-old a ticket for riding their bicycle incorrectly, they will certainly hand a citation to an adult doing so — or the parents of a kid doing so.
Urban areas across the country are being more accepting of bike riders. Dedicated bike lanes have been installed in several cities in an attempt to make riding safer. Where there aren’t dedicated bike lanes, riders must share a greater amount of space with traditional vehicles. Here is what you need to know before you set out upon two wheels again.
Bicycles are considered vehicles. In most cities, it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk or on parts of the road dedicated to pedestrian traffic. Bicyclists are legally responsible for following the same laws that dictate how motor vehicles operate on the road. That means staying on the right side, remaining in line with traffic rather than darting in and out of it and obeying traffic signals. If you are riding at night or in the early morning, make sure you understand your city’s laws regarding lights and reflectors on your bike.
Let’s ignore the fact that you can be ticketed for not following the law for a moment. While it is certainly true that you could be facing a judge if you don’t follow the law, it could be the least of your worries. Here are even better reasons to obey the law when you are riding on two wheels.
It has been shown that people involved in injuries while riding against traffic often suffer those that are more severe. Even a helmet cannot fully protect a rider who has been struck by a car or truck. Keep in mind that a bike rider will often sustain more serious injuries that a vehicle driver simply due to the lack of protection a bicycle offers.
A vehicle is less likely to see a bicyclist coming at them from the front. That is because most vehicle drivers expect cyclists to be riding with traffic. You are smaller on a bike and more difficult to see no matter which way you are riding, so improve your chances of being visible by riding with the flow.
Because drivers don’t expect to see a bicycle heading towards them, they will be surprised. That surprise will limit reaction time on the part of the driver, making them less likely to maneuver accordingly.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, reach out to Auger Law for a free consultation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options.
It is not unusual for people to have questions after they have been involved in an accident. This is especially true when that accident is bicycle versus vehicle. Most people have a misconception that if a bike and car are involved in an accident, the driver is always at fault. This is not the case. Here are the most common questions we receive after a bicycle versus vehicle accident.
If you ride a bike in the city, chances are you have had at least one close call with a car door that opens suddenly. If you were unfortunate enough to be hit by the door, you may be wondering if you can sue for damages. The answer is that it depends on the situation. If the door opened into you because the driver failed to notice you, you may have a lawsuit. If you hit the open door because you weren’t paying attention, the chances of winning a lawsuit are minimal.
Whether or not cities are responsible for plowing bike lanes depends on the jurisdiction in which you live. To discover the answer to this question, contact your local city hall or law enforcement agency. Keep in mind that even if a city is required to keep bike lanes clear, choosing to ride in one that is full of slush and ice is exactly that: your choice.
Of course. While a cyclist doesn’t have vehicle insurance, they are still liable for any damage they cause to your vehicle if the accident was their fault. If, on the other hand, the accident was your fault, the damage will be paid for by your insurance company or out of your own pocket.
The best proof that you can have in a car versus bike accident is a police report. Make sure that you get a copy of the responding officer’s report. Whether or not you feel like you are injured, you need to contact the authorities. You don’t know how you will feel tomorrow, a week from now or even a month from now.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, we will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and help you decide if you may be entitled to compensation for injury or damage. Call our team today and schedule an appointment for your no-cost case evaluation.
People are commuting to work and school by bike in larger numbers than ever before. There are a variety of reasons that one may choose to take two wheels instead of four. Some choose to bike as part of an adoption of a greener lifestyle, others do it to stay fit. Many people choose to bike as a way to save money. No matter the reason behind your decision to commute to work in this alternative fashion, it is important to do everything you can to keep yourself safe. Here are a few tips to help make sure you get to work or class without injury.
One of the best things you can do to improve your safety is to stay visible. Wear brightly-colored clothing, put lights on your bicycle’s front and back, and consider putting a few strips of reflective tape on your chest and back. Try not to ride in areas where seeing you will be difficult for other drivers.
You may be able to cruise to work on the highway while in your car, but you can’t do the same on your bike. Take time to choose a route that will be safest. Look for one that has wide roads and even terrain. Consider back roads if they are available to avoid heavy amounts of traffic. If you aren’t sure the route you are choosing is safe or time-effective, bike it on the weekend and test it out.
If you can’t keep all of your important things stashed at the office, chances are you will need to carry them with you in the morning and again in the afternoon. If your bike isn’t equipped with a rack, a backpack is the safest option. Make sure the weight is distributed evenly and use both arm straps when you put the pack on.
We all know that we can’t always depend on a week-long forecast to tell us what the weather will be like. Check the weather the night before your commute and again in the morning. If the weather isn’t going to be conducive to your pedaling to work, consider a different form of transportation. Don’t take chances.
If you are injured in a bike accident in Charlotte or the surrounding area, call our office. A member of our team will speak to you at no cost to you or your family and advise you of the options available to you under current local and state law. Call now and let us help you begin the process of seeking compensation for your injuries.