Road hazards are a common cause of bicycle accidents even for the most experienced riders. The most frequent occurrence caused by hazards on the road is losing control of the bicycle, which can cause cyclists to crash or be propelled into traffic.
Cyclists are required to follow the rules of the road (Car Wrecks Involving a Bicycle LINK), and could face liability (responsibility) for causing an accident with a car. There are three common situations where most accidents occur between bicycles and other vehicles.
Cyclists often assume that they would not be liable (responsible) for an accident between their bicycle and a motorized vehicle. This could be an incorrect assumption! Bicycles are considered 'vehicles' and cyclists must obey the rules that apply to motorized vehicles.
In Tennessee, if you are under the age of 16 and riding a bicycle, you are required by law to wear a helmet. While this is the state law, many cities and towns have additional bicycle helmet laws that extend this age. In some municipalities, everyone regardless of age is required by law to wear a helmet.
Accidents involving bicycles and cars account for only 11% of cyclists' accidents. However, 45% of these wrecks occur at an intersection. There are two common bicycle hazards that often take place when cars and bikes meet at an intersection:
Liability for a car and bicycle accident depends on the circumstances. Therefore, cyclists should follow these guidelines to protect themselves from injury and avoid legal responsibility:
If you are a cyclist involved in an accident with a car, there are certain steps you should complete following the wreck. These actions could help protect your legal rights.