Bicyclists share the road with drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Bicyclists therefore must obey the same rules of the road that apply to vehicles. However, bicyclists are subject to a greater risk of harm than drivers. Vehicles are much larger than bicycles and provide greater protection from collisions, with seat belts, air bags, and other safety equipment. On the other hand, bicycles have minimal safety protection. Additionally, many drivers fail to notice bicyclists on the road. Therefore, collisions between bicycles and vehicles often result in life-altering injuries.
Young children pose a heightened risk of a collision with a vehicle for many reasons. Young children typically have limited or no knowledge of the rules of the road. Compared to adults, children are less able to perceive objects close to them. Children are also still developing their sense of danger. Additionally, children are more likely to be impatient while bicycling, and engaging in unsafe bicycling. All of these factors increase the likelihood of a collision.
These accidents are governed by the laws of negligence. The law allows bicyclists to share the road with other drivers. Drivers are therefore required to drive their vehicle with caution and care to prevent harm to bicyclists. However, drivers have a heightened duty of care when children are present. For example, in neighborhoods and near schools, drivers must remain vigilant and aware of nearby bicyclists and child pedestrians, and prepared to immediately stop to avoid collision. In order to establish that the driver was at-fault, your bicycle accident attorney must establish the following:
There are several crucial steps that parents can take to prevent these accidents. Parents should ensure that their children wear helmets while bicycling. Helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of head injury by approximately 40 percent. Parents should also teach their children to: (1) ride on the sidewalk at all times; (2) observe any cars backing out of or pulling into driveways; and (3) use appropriate hand signals when turning, which allow drivers to understand the bicycle’s movement. Finally, parents should teach their children the rules of the road, including when it is safe to cross the street. These steps will aid in minimizing the risk of a collision with a vehicle.
Accidents involving children raise complex legal issues. It is therefore vitally important that you retain an experienced child bicycle accident attorney, who will aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and conduct a thorough investigation to obtain all evidence of the other driver’s fault.