In recent years, bicycles have gained enormous popularity as a means of both pleasure and alternative transportation in urban areas. With the popularity of bicycles, much discussion has arisen about whether or not it is necessary to wear a helmet when riding.
The use of helmets when riding a bicycle is not mandated by federal law in the US.
The majority of regulations target riders under the age of 16. However, several also apply to those under 12, 17, or 18.
Different sets of regulations apply to motorcycle helmets.
What Happens If I Don’t Wear a Helmet?
In the majority of states, failure to wear a helmet results in a ticket and a punishment. When a parent can show they have purchased a helmet for their child after receiving a ticket for their child’s failure to wear a helmet, many states will waive the ticket and associated costs.
When establishing whether culpability exists in a bicycle accident, wearing a helmet is just one consideration. Helmets prevent skull fractures, but whether or not they successfully prevent concussions has recently been called into question. A parent might be held partially responsible for a child’s damage if the child was not wearing a helmet when hit and suffered a skull fracture or another avoidable head injury.
What Exactly Are Car-Bicycle Collisions?
Compared to the driver of the vehicle, the bicyclist is significantly more likely to be hurt or killed in collisions involving vehicles and bicycles. 843 cyclists were killed in car accidents in 2019 alone, according to statistics.
Several other bicycle-car crashes Those year’s statistics include:
- 70% of cyclists were killed in urban areas, where there is more vehicle traffic to contend with;
- 35% of cyclist deaths occurred at an intersection; and
- 65% of cyclist deaths occurred on major roads that were not interstates or freeways.
90% of cyclist deaths occurred in cyclists who were 20 or older; 62% of those who were killed were not wearing a helmet; 21% of those who were killed aged 16 or over had blood alcohol concentrations at or above 0.08%; 78% of cyclist deaths occurred in urban areas.
Both the car driver and the biker frequently have high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). The term “blood alcohol content,” or “BAC,” refers to the amount of alcohol that was detected in a person’s bloodstream at the time of testing.
According to the law, both bicycles and automobiles are regarded as vehicles. This means that everyone on a bicycle and driving a car is responsible for obeying the law. As a result, in the event of a lawsuit involving a bicycle-car collision, the actions of the drivers of both vehicles will be investigated. The driver of the car and the cyclist will both be interrogated to see whether they played any involvement in the collision. This will be covered in more detail later.
Who Is Legally Responsible for Car-Bicycle Collisions?
Again, for legal purposes, both automobiles and bicycles are regarded as vehicles. To ascertain culpability or negligence, each party will be questioned following a collision involving two vehicles. As a result, in a lawsuit involving a bike and car accident, this is still seen as having happened between two vehicles, and each party’s negligence or fault will be an issue.
The automobile driver and cyclist are responsible for using ordinary care when on the road.
Both must also abide by all traffic laws and road regulations. As a result, right-of-way rules are among the most frequently mentioned legislation in relation to a bicycle-car incident.
Right-of-way is a term used to describe the sequence of vehicles at an intersection. The person who arrives at an intersection first typically has the right of way when there are no traffic lights in place. Following traffic signals is advised whenever they are present. When the driver of the car makes a right turn and strikes a bike, this is another common right-of-way issue. This would constitute driving negligently and is known as right turn right-of-way.
Bicyclists must move as far to the right as they can in their lane if they are not keeping up with the flow of traffic since they are expected to obey “side-of-road” laws. Additionally, when bike lanes are available, they must use them. Cycling negligence could result from breaking one of these guidelines. Bicyclists should wear light or luminous clothes to increase their visibility and so lessen their culpability, particularly at night. Additionally, when biking, cyclists should use a variety of lights and reflectors.
Alternatively, car drivers are legally required to keep a safe distance between themselves and cyclists while driving. The typical safe distance for these uses is three feet. As a result, motorists that pass bikes too closely may be deemed irresponsible and accountable for the collision that results.
Additionally, motorists must keep a safe space between their vehicles and bicycles in order to pass bicycles unless it is safe to do so. One of the most frequent types of car-bicycle collisions is cars touching bicycles as they pass them.
In addition, drivers may be held negligent if they break any other traffic regulations, such as those that forbid speeding or drunk driving. It is crucial to remember that bikers can be held accountable for negligence if they break traffic laws. As an illustration, their negligence will be taken into account if they disregard traffic signals or stop signs and are responsible for an accident.
Is Determining Responsibility Important For Bicycle-Car Collisions?
The capacity to obtain compensation for any injuries sustained by the rider depends on the determination of culpability. The biker may assert that the carelessness of the car driver was to blame for both the collision and their injuries.
The automobile driver will simultaneously make an effort to defend themselves and is likely to emphasize how the cyclist’s carelessness led to the collision. Comparative negligence is what this is, and it can reduce the amount of damages the bicyclist can receive.
The affected party may be able to file a lawsuit in civil court when a person or organization owes others a duty to conduct fairly and breaches that duty. Comparative or contributory negligence is frequently used as a defense in negligence-related legal proceedings.
According to the doctrine of contributory negligence, the plaintiff is completely barred from suing the defendant for damages if they were even slightly at fault for the incident. Most states recently replaced this theory with different laws.
Can I Sue the Maker of a Faulty Bike Helmet?
A bike helmet might be flawed in a number of different ways. There could be a problem with the design, the materials, the manufacture, or the labeling of the product. A poor helmet will also have broken chin straps, cracked shells, or insufficient liner.
If you can demonstrate that the manufacturer caused the bike helmet’s problem, you may be able to sue them.
Do I Need an Attorney?
You need to contact a bicycle accident lawyer immediately if you experience a brain injury resulting from a defective bike helmet. A lawyer can inform you of your options and assist you in creating the strongest case that is appropriate for your situation. Use LegalMatch to find a lawyer today.