Texas stands alongside the most dangerous states for bicyclists. One of the reasons for this is the number of them, especially in larger cities such as Houston.
This is a concern for several reasons, including the sheer lack of protection bicyclists are afforded. In exploring why most bicycle accidents happen, it's not hard to see that there are some recurring elements.
With that said, here's a deep dive into the world of bicycle crashes in Texas. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help answer questions like, "How do I file a claim for a bicycle accident in Texas?"
Common Factors That Translate to Bike Accidents
The first factor is distractions. As each year passes, distracted driving seems to only become a worse problem. Realistically, there are so many things that can serve as distractions, which lead drivers to make critical mistakes on the road.
Someone could be texting, looking at someone passing, putting on makeup, talking to a passenger, etc. Today's drivers are more distracted than ever and one of the unfortunate results is motor vehicles causing serious injuries to bicyclists.
Next, there are the conditions of the road and the weather. Rain is one of the more common ones considering it introduces visibility issues and can cause a slip. Other weather issues such as ice, sleet, or snow are also areas of concern.
Road conditions are also a concern as not all the roadways are paved as they would be in a perfect world. Beyond that, there are railway crossings, loose gravel, and more, that can all be incredibly problematic.
Some vehicle accidents come from drivers that simply fail to obey traffic laws. Speeding is one of the more common causes of bicycle accidents as is a failure to yield where required. Unfortunately, the result can be nothing short of catastrophic with severe injuries and death sometimes being the result.
Visibility is another big one. Motor vehicle operators are not always paying attention to bicyclists, especially if there are supposed to be designated bike lanes present. Compared to standard vehicles, bicycles are pretty small, so seeing them is hard enough.
When considering the fact that cyclist deaths statistically tend to happen the most between 6 PM and 9 PM, it shines a light on the extent to which visibility is a huge concern in the cycling world.
What Kinds of Bicycle Accidents Are There
Most bike accidents will fall under one of a few categories. Be that as it may, each category can see the accidents functionally looking pretty varied.
The first category is known as a right cross. In this case, a car will pull out of a parking lot, driveway, or side street, and will exit to the right side of the cyclist. If the driver isn't looking out properly, the cyclist will likely be hit as this is happening.
Next, there are blindspot accidents. It's bad enough that many car drivers aren't cognisant of the bicycles that are in front of them. Therefore, it's not hard to imagine that the ones in their blind spots may be even more ignored, but this is the reality. Many people just don't check their blind spots, which means that the perfect storm for cyclist fatalities is created.
Dooring is next and is probably one of the bicycle accidents that you're more familiar with. As the name implies, a car door is opened into the bike lane or along the bike path, and the cyclist ends up being hit.
Finally, there is rear-ending. There are so many reasons this can happen spanning distractions, aggressive driving, distracted driving, etc. It's very common for cars to rear-end bikes.
Texas Bike Traffic Laws to Remember
Bicycles are subject to most regular traffic laws as they are considered vehicles. This means that they also have the same basic rights. However, the state of Texas, via the Texas Transportation Code, imposes specific codes of conduct for cyclists, which include:
Bicyclists may not carry any object that impedes at least one hand being on the handlebars at all times
Arm signals must be used by cyclists as they turn
A bicyclist must ride as close to the curb as possible on the right side of the road unless they are turning left or trying to safely pass by a vehicle
Bicyclists must not ride on the sidewalk
Bicycles must be outfitted with a white light at the front and a red light or reflector on the rear of the unit for night riding
A bicycle should not be used to carry more people than it is designed to
What Should You Do After a Bike Accident?
Regardless of all the safety precautions you may take, there's nothing you can do if a driver fails to demonstrate the expected level of care when driving on the road. This may lead to an accident, which should see you do the following:
Seek medical care if possible as this ensures you are taken care of and will have the required documentation for your claim generated
Collect as much evidence as you can in the form of contact details of those involved and witnesses as well as images or footage of the accident scene and the aftermath
Reach out to your Houston bike accident attorneys as quickly as possible to get advice on the best way to proceed
Give a statement to the police officer who processes the accident or head to the applicable police station if none came
What Kinds of Damages Can Bicycle Riders Claim?
A strong personal injury case of this nature will see the victim being able to claim the economic and non-economic damages that apply to the circumstances. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with questions such as, "What is the statute of limitations for nursing home negligence in Texas?"
Economic damages speak to those that a documented value can be attributed to such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are on the quality of life side of the spectrum and will include elements such as loss of enjoyment and emotional distress.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today with a Competent Bicycle Accident Attorney!
Injured bicyclists have a hard enough time just trying to deal with the reality of the situation that someone's negligence put them in and that shouldn't be the case. That's why at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we go to war for our Houston clients!
Schedule your free case evaluation by calling us at (833) 692-5038.