According to data collected by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, just under 800 cyclists are killed each year after being hit by a vehicle. Unlike occupants in a vehicle, a person on a bike is completely unprotected in a crash, resulting in often severe injuries.
At Shapiro & Appleton, our North Carolina injury attorneys have represented many bike accident victims and their families in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved for the losses their injuries have caused them. If you have been injured in a bike accident, contact our firm today to find out how we can help.
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Here in North Carolina, approximately 1,000 cyclists are involved in bike accidents with vehicles every year, resulting in the about 20 deaths and serious injuries to about 60 other victims. Many bicycle accidents are the fault of the vehicle driver involved in the crash, but there are some steps that cyclists can take to help minimize injury risk. These include the following:
Always wear a helmet: There have been multiple studies which have proven that bicycle helmets save lives, yet many cyclists fail to wear one when riding. In some states, wearing a helmet is required by law. In North Carolina, only riders under the age of 16 are required, but for safety’s sake, everyone should wear a helmet in order to prevent severe brain injury or death.
Do not cycle at night if possible: National statistics show that more than 20 percent of all fatal bicycle accidents happen between 6 and 9 p.m. It becomes harder for vehicle drivers to see bicyclists as the sun is setting. If a cyclist does need to venture out in the evening, they should make sure their bike is equipped with safety lights and reflectors, they wear bright and reflective colors, and follow all traffic laws.
Never drink and ride: Some people think that getting on a bike after drinking is different than getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. This is incorrect – it is just as dangerous and deadly. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 35 percent of all fatal bike accidents are alcohol-related. Alcohol affects a person’s reaction time, decision-making skills, and vision.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you were injured in a bicycle or any other type of motor vehicle accident, it is critical not to delay contacting a North Carolina bicycle accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton right away. North Carolina injury laws have strict rules regarding how long you have to file your personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires, you will be unable to collect financial damages for any medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, or any other losses you may be entitled to.