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Bicycle vs. car is not always driver negligence

Biking in California is on the rise. Not only is it environmentally friendly and a good form of exercise, but it can also be faster than using a car to reach a destination, especially during rush hour. While these seem like good reasons to join the movement, in a collision with an automobile, the bicyclist is at a disadvantage. At The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt, experienced attorneys often work with clients to help them receive compensation if the driver was reckless or negligent.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, almost half of the fatal roadway crashes involving a bicycle occur when a vehicle hits the cyclist from behind. Recently, local governments seeking a way to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality focus on infrastructure that accommodates non-motorized transportation. Cycle tracks and bike lanes reduce vehicle collision. Many newer cars also incorporate bike detection in front crash prevention systems.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent 100 percent of automobile vs. bicycle collisions. FindLaw states that when a cyclist sustains injuries in a crash with a car and sues, the court investigates whether the accident occurred due to negligence from either party. Driver negligence includes drifting into the bike lane, running a stop sign or traffic light or acting in a manner considered reckless. Cyclist negligence includes not following standard traffic laws, such as driving against traffic or riding outside the marked bike lanes.

The cyclist must prove negligence of the driver through eyewitness accounts or other methods. However, if the behavior results in a traffic violation, this may constitute “negligence per se.” If the individual on the bicycle is a minor, the driver is often held to higher standards. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.