New Jersey Bicycle Accident Lawyers
When a car hits a bicycle, the bicyclist has little chance of escaping without serious injury or even death. Currently, more than 50,000 injuries are caused every year by motor vehicle and bicycle accidents, many of which were in New Jersey. During 2011, seventeen bicyclists were killed in New Jersey in motor vehicle and bike collisions. Percentages are hard to figure because bicyclists do not have to register their bikes or get any type of operator’s license. It has been estimated that as many as ninety percent of all personal injuries suffered in a bike accident are not reported to the police.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 618 bicyclists were killed in 2010 and some 52,000 riders were injured. It also reported that 677 bicyclists were killed in 2011 and 38,000 riders were injured. Two percent of all traffic fatalities in 2010 were bicyclists. Of those, eleven percent were children between five and fifteen years old. The average age of bicyclists who were injured from 2006 and 2010 was between forty and forty-two. The average age of cyclists who were killed during that same period was thirty years old.
Studies by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center have concluded that there are six frequent causes of bicycle accidents:
- If the bike and car are moving parallel to one another, the motorist turns into the bicycle.
- In the same situation, the bike turns into the car. This is the least common type.
- The car overtakes the bicycle and strikes it from behind.
- If the motor vehicle and the bike are on crossing paths, the most common cause is motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection.
- Bicyclists can also fail to surrender the right-of-way at intersections.
- Another cause is bicyclists who cut across the street in the middle of a block.
The majority of bicycle accidents occur in cities, as opposed to rural areas. Nearly sixty percent of fatalities occur on the most heavily used roads. Drivers who are distracted and not paying attention also cause many accidents with bikes.
There are several ways bicyclists can increase their safety while riding their bikes in New Jersey:
- Know and follow the bicycle laws.
- Wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet.
- Do not ride against traffic.
- When crossing a street or at intersections, make eye contact with oncoming motorists.
- Beware of road hazards like broken glass, potholes, and oil slicks.
- Check your brakes and the tires’ air pressure.
- Keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Only carry things in a backpack or a bicycle carrier.
- Make sure your bicycle fits your body.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision with a motorist while on your bike, gather identification information from the driver and any potential witnesses. Get medical treatment and document your injuries.
New Jersey Bike Accident Lawsuits
Our New Jersey bicycle accident lawyers are very experienced in handling bike accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle that caused serious injury or death, protect your rights and contact the New Jersey law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman. One of our experienced bicycle accident lawyers will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your New Jersey bike accident case.