Jeff Sheppard Asks: Are Bikers Safer than Drivers?
Posted on: January 24, 2018
NEW JERSEY. Bicyclists face quite a bit of bias on the road. They are sometimes perceived as risk-takers. Unfortunately, this bias can create real problems when bikers are injured in car accidents. Officers and insurance adjusters may display unconscious bias against bikers, siding with a driver even when he or she may be at fault for the crash. But are bikers safe road users? After all, drivers sometimes report that bikers roll through red lights, run stop signs, and some even cut drivers off mid-lane. Bikers who use to the road are required to abide by the same laws that govern cars.
So, what is it? Are bikers law-abiding citizens or renegades? Outside Magazine recently reported on a study conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation. The study revealed that bikers were actually more likely to follow the rules of the road than the drivers of cars. What does this mean for bikers? Well, it means that in the event of an accident involving a biker and a car, officers should take the time to hear the full story. It is statistically more likely that the driver was in violation of the law, not the biker.
What does this mean for personal injury law? According to Jeff Sheppard, Esq., a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey, negligence plays a big role in whether a biker injured in a crash is entitled to seek damages for injuries and property damage. If drivers are more likely to be at fault for these accidents, bikers may be entitled to seek damages for their medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The reality is that most drivers don’t know the rules of the road when it comes to how they should behave around bicyclists. They may not be aware that they are legally required to give bikers space. Some cities and states even permit bikers to roll through red lights and stop signs, as long as bikers yield. The very practices that anger drivers, may actually just be bikers exercising their rights. In the event of near accidents in the Florida study, in 20 out of 21 cases, the driver failed to give the biker the space he or she needed under the law, or failed to yield.
According to NJ.com, the majority of the people killed on bikes are adult riders. According to the report, journalists found that police in New Jersey may not always be aware of the laws that govern bikers when they share the road.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? First, read up on the law regarding biking in New Jersey. Know your rights. Wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road. Finally, if you have been injured in a car crash in New Jersey, consider contacting the personal injury lawyer at Jeff Sheppard, Esq. Our firm works closely with bike accident victims. We can review the facts of your case, determine who was negligent in a crash, and fight for your rights, especially if police are wrongfully blaming you for the crash. Protect yourself. Seek legal counsel if you believe you were not to blame in a crash.