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Appleton bike accident injury lawyerThough reported accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles in Wisconsin are relatively uncommon, over 800 bicyclists are injured each year. Bicyclists are at a clear disadvantage in a motor vehicle collision, as their vehicles do little to provide protection, and their injuries are often severe and sometimes fatal. Bicycle accidents are especially common at intersections, and it is important to be aware of how these accidents occur and what you can do if you are injured.

Causes of Wisconsin Bicycle Accidents at Intersections

According to the Federal Highway Administration, over half of accidents between bicycles and vehicles happen during crossing-path events, including when both parties are approaching an intersection. For example, when a car and bicycle are traveling toward an intersection in the same direction, the car may make a right turn into the bicycle’s path. Another common occurrence is a car turning left at an intersection into the path of a bike approaching from the opposite direction that has the right of way. When an accident occurs under either of these circumstances, it is often because the driver of the car failed to see the bicyclist, possibly due to alcohol impairment or a distraction such as texting while driving.

In Wisconsin, bicycles are considered vehicles, and bicyclists must obey all traffic laws. This means, among other things, that they should travel on the same side of the road and in the same direction as cars, and that they should stop when required at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. Some bike accidents occur in part because a bicyclist is not following these rules, but intersections can be dangerous even for bicyclists who respect the law and take all reasonable safety precautions.

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Appleton, WI bicycle accident attorneyWhen a collision occurs between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the results can be devastating for the bicyclist. Due to the huge disparity in size and weight between bikes and cars, as well as the lack of protection for a cyclist in a collision, bicyclists can suffer severe or fatal injuries after being hit by a motor vehicle. Because of this, collisions with bicycles account for approximately 2% of all annual fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. Due to the risk of injury, bicyclists should be sure to understand the best ways to stay safe on the roads and recognize negligence by drivers that can lead to dangerous collisions. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand how to recover compensation from a negligent driver. 

Protecting Your Safety While Riding a Bike

More than 400,000 bicyclists suffer injuries in bike accidents every year. Cyclists can take a number of steps to protect themselves from harm. First and foremost, wearing a helmet can significantly lower the chances of suffering significant brain trauma in an accident. Since nearly 45% of bicyclist fatalities occur at night, cyclists should be sure to equip their bikes with lights or reflectors and wear bright, visible clothing when cycling after dark. However, even when a bicyclist takes all possible precautions, they may still suffer serious injuries through no fault of their own.

Negligence Leading to Bicycle Accidents

In many cases, driver negligence is the primary cause of bicycle collisions. Distracted driving, which can involve any action that causes a driver to take their eyes or attention away from the road, can lead to a driver failing to see a bicyclist. Reckless or aggressive driving can also lead to serious bicycle accidents, including situations in which drivers refuse to respect a bicyclist’s right of way or drive in bike lanes while passing other vehicles. 

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Green Bay bike accident lawyer

Due to the growing number of vehicles on the road, it should not be a surprise that car accidents involving bicycles are becoming more prevalent. In 2016, one bicyclist was either injured or killed every 10.2 hours in the state of Wisconsin. Due to the large size and weight of motor vehicles, bicyclists can suffer serious injuries when struck by a car or truck. Even though a cyclist has the same rights as any other vehicle, a rider may want to consider these safety tips before hitting the road:

Obey Traffic Laws

While children who are learning to ride bikes and are being supervised by adults may ride on sidewalks, most cyclists should ride on the road and obey traffic laws. Depending on the community you are in, sidewalk riding may be illegal for certain ages and areas. Before a bicyclist begins riding in the street, it is important to know the rules that should be followed. In Wisconsin, a cyclist must:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Green-Bay-bicycle-accident-lawyers.jpgAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicycle accidents account for about 2 percent of all traffic fatalities. Even more, bicyclists are injured. Who is at fault for these accidents, and what really causes them? Learn more about the causes and fault in bicycle accidents with help from the following information. 

A Closer Look at the Anatomy of a Bicycle Accident

While bicycle accident victims may be from any area and of any age, there are some interesting commonalities among victims. For example, children are one of the most common victims; they are also the most likely to suffer a fatality. In bicycle crashes involving adults, 83 percent are male. Also, the majority of bicycle accident deaths (68 percent) occur in urban areas, and about 22 percent occur after 9 PM.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents 

When a bicycle accident happens, people often assume it is the cyclist to blame. However, statistics indicate that over half are the fault of another motorist. However, this is a misconception. In fact, at least half are caused by the driver of another vehicle. More specifically, 18 percent occurred because a driver failed to see a cyclist. Around 22 percent are caused by a driver or passenger opening their door and hitting the cyclist. 

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Wisconsin bicycle accident lawyersThanks to environmental concerns and the scaling back of unnecessary expenses among many Americans, the number of cyclists has risen dramatically over the last decade. In fact, statistics indicate that some 66 million people now use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation.

Unfortunately, the roadways are still designed for passenger vehicles, and that creates challenges and potential risks for cyclists. Add in the potential for distracted, drunk, or drugged drivers and it becomes clear that cyclists need to know how to protect themselves from the risk of serious injury if a bicycle accident occurs. Learn more, including how the assistance of a seasoned, competent lawyer can increase your chances of receiving full and fair compensation after a crash.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

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