If you have lived in the Phoenix area for any amount of time, you have probably driven through Tempe when Arizona State University is home to thousands of students from around the world. Many of these students use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation, so Tempe roads are usually full of bikes and cars fighting for space. Drivers and cyclists alike share moments of extreme frustration and anxiety as they both navigate the crowded streets, and each blames the other for near-misses.
As other cities in the Valley become more bicycle-friendly, it has become clear that everyone may not be on the same page when it comes to safely sharing roads. Each year, several cyclists are seriously injured or killed, and it is not always clear whether the motorist or cyclist is at fault.
Many people assume that most accidents involving a car and a bicycle are the fault of the car’s driver. In auto/bike crashes, the bicyclist usually suffers serious injuries while the driver is unscathed, so it is often easier to blame the driver—but many bike accidents are caused by the bicyclist’s failure to follow the rules of the road.
Who’s to Blame in a Bike vs. Car Accident?
In order to find out who is at fault in most bike accidents, one must first look at the most common causes of these crashes, which include:
- Right-of-Way Misunderstanding
- Distracted Driving or Riding
- Turning into a Vehicle’s Path
As you can clearly see, the most common reasons accidents occur could easily be pinned on a motorist or bicyclist. Impairment, whether by drugs or alcohol, is a leading cause of many accidents, whether it is a driver, biker, or pedestrian that is impaired. The same can be said for walking, biking, or driving distracted—accidents occur when focus is lost.
Intersections are involved in right-of-way mishaps and turning into a vehicle’s—bike or car—path. Cars will often turn right at an intersection, only to drive straight into the path of a bicycle traveling in the bike lane. The overlap and crossing of bike lanes and auto lanes at intersections can be confusing for even the most vigilant individuals, and accidents are often the unfortunate result.
If You Have Been Involved in a Bicycle Accident, You Need an Attorney
Bicycle accidents can often be very complicated, and require careful investigation to discover what truly caused the crash. If you have been hurt in a biking accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for your rights. Schedule a free consultation with Curry, Pearson & Wooten today to learn how our attorneys can get you the compensation that you deserve.