An accident in Holden Beach, North Carolina last weekend is a reminder that drivers are required by law to treat bicyclists the same as any vehicle on the road.
WWAY.com reported that a car turned into the path of a bicycle at the intersection of Holden Beach Road and Ocean Blvd. West, and the bicycle hit the car.
The bicyclist was injured in the crash and was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment. Police cited the driver of the car with failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
Bicyclists have the same right to ride on the road as drivers do. In fact, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, the proper way for bicyclists to travel is with traffic, not against it or on sidewalks. Unfortunately, just because cyclists obey traffic laws doesn’t mean the cars on the road will, and cyclists are at a much greater risk for serious injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 515,000 people visited an emergency room for a bicycle-related injury in 2010. It estimates that fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists cost a staggering $5 billion in lifetime medical costs and lost productivity.
The bicyclist in this accident should consider speaking to a personal injury attorney about possible legal options. Bicyclists have little protection in an accident with a motor vehicle. Even a relatively minor collision can result in serious and life-altering injury. They are at great risk for traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and death. Luckily, this bicyclist survived the crash, but as a result of these injuries he or she will face medical bills, possible lost wages, and emotional trauma. A successful personal injury claim can provide compensation for these damages.
If you are a bicyclist who was injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, see this article on the injury claim process in Virginia and North Carolina, including step-by-step advice on what to do after the accident.