People ride bikes for different reasons. Some ride a bike to and from work to reduce the pollution caused by driving cars. Some people prefer to ride a bike as a form of low-impact physical fitness. Others just find it relaxing to ride a bike down the road when the weather is nice.
Regardless of the reason for riding a bike, serious accidents still occur. When a car collides with a bike rider, the bicyclist is typically the one who sustains the most serious injuries. If you have been hurt while riding a bike, and believe that someone else is at fault for your injuries, you should speak with a skilled Petoskey bike accident attorney as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Given that bicyclists are often moving at a slower pace than the rest of traffic and are less visible than larger vehicles around them, drivers do not always readily see them. This can result in a bicyclist receiving serious or life-threatening injuries.
Some of the common causes of bike accidents include:
- Distracted drivers - Distracted driving poses as one of the biggest risks to bike riders. A distracted driver is paying attention to something else other than the road. These distractions include sending a text message, looking at a map, changing the radio station, and attempting to eat. The list goes on. When a distracted driver is not paying attention to the road, they become a serious liability to everyone else in the area.
- Drunk drivers - A person who gets behind the wheel of a car after consuming too many alcoholic beverages is another serious danger to bicyclists. An intoxicated driver is more likely to overlook a bike rider on the road with them. These irresponsible individuals often have poor control over their vehicle, swerving dangerously into a bike lane or driving faster than the traffic around them.
- Road rage - An impatient person who cannot control their temper might become frustrated with the slower pace of a bike rider. This can result in the driver impulsively trying to force the bicyclist off the road or simply cutting them off. Not only is this dangerous and potentially fatal, but it is also absolutely unacceptable in any situation.
How to Recognize the Signs of a Dangerous Driver
Bike riders should always take precautions and remain alert when sharing the road with motorized vehicles. One of the most important skills to learn is recognizing the signs of a dangerous driver.
Here are a few things to watch out for:
- A car that is driving much faster or much slower than the posted speed limit.
- A car that is traveling at a significantly different speed than the rest of the traffic around them.
- The presence of a blue light in the driver’s side window at night, which can signify a driver who is looking at their phone while they are driving their car.
- A car that is swerving in and out of the lane they are in.
- A car that changes lanes erratically, or without signaling.
- A driver that is honking their horn, yelling, tailgating another vehicle, or making gestures from their car.
- A car that is driving at night with their headlights turned off.
Any of these behaviors is a warning sign that the driver is dangerous to bike riders and that you should remove yourself from the area immediately. You can pull your bike onto the sidewalk, wait for the car to pass, and even call the police to report a dangerous driver. By recognizing these signs, you might avoid a serious injury.
Speak With an Experienced Petoskey MI Bike Accident Lawyer Today
For those who love to ride a bike, the possibility of being involved in a serious accident is always a reality. If you or someone you know has been injured while riding a bike, and have reason to believe that another party is at fault for the accident, you should speak with an experienced Petoskey personal injury attorney as soon as you can.
A knowledgeable attorney at Michigan Injury Lawyers can help reduce the stress resulting from the accident and will work diligently to recover the maximum amount of damages that you are due.
Contact us or call (231) 649-2720 today for a free initial consultation. We will listen to the details of your situation and help to determine your best path forward. You are not alone. We are here to help and support our clients during these difficult times.