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Montgomery & Bucks County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Friday, August 18, 2017

What You Need To Know About Bike Accidents in Pennsylvania

For many Pennsylvanians, bicycles are more than just a means of transport, they are a way of life. In one of the most biked cities in the country, everyone should feel safe riding a bicycle to work, school, the mall or the park. On the road, motorists should be extra mindful of cyclists. When motorists act negligently, causing a bike accident, they should be held responsible for the victim’s injuries and damage to property.

If you are a bike rider who was injured in an accident involving another road user, talk to a Pennsylvania bike accident attorney immediately. You may just qualify for compensation.

Bike Accidents in Philadelphia

Federal census data shows that 2.2% of Philadelphia commuters use bikes at least three days a week, the highest among major big cities in the United States. Center City had a much larger percentage at 7.2%.  

With so many bicycles utilizing the city’s busy roads, accidents are bound to happen.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has been tracking bike accidents in Philadelphia since 1997. Here’s a snapshot of the accidents recorded:

  • In 2010, there were 577 bike accidents with 4 fatalities
  • In 2011, there were 513 bike accidents with 2 fatalities
  • In 2012, there were 488 bike accidents with 4 fatalities
  • In 2013, there were 536 bike accidents
  • In 2014, there were 551 bike accidents with 3 fatalities

In the last three years, the figures may have been higher.

According to a recent report by NBC10 Investigators, between 2014 and June 2016, there were more than 1,500 bike accidents in Philadelphia.

According to the report, most crashes occur in summer. During the test period, there were an average of 80 crashes per month in June, that’s almost three per day. The crashes rose consistently throughout the summer, peaking at 95 crashes a month in September.

Most crashes occur in the afternoon and evening hours.  

Some locations recorded way more crashes than others. Broad Street and Spruce Street led the pack with 76 and 63 crashes respectively.

How Bike Accidents Occur

Bike accidents commonly occur when:

  • A car is turning left in front of a cyclist, striking the cyclist from the side.
  • A driver aggressively turns right at an intersection, cutting off a cyclist.
  • A driver or passenger opens the car door in front of an oncoming cyclist.
  • A driver attempts to pass a cyclist without leaving enough space leading to a rear-end collision.

These accidents cause severe injuries, the most common being head trauma. Other injuries include neck injuries, neurological damage, spinal cord injuries, bone fractures and limb injuries.

Who is Liable for Bike Accidents?

According to investigators, speeding plays a big role in a majority of bike accidents. Negligent and reckless driving are also huge contributors.

All drivers owe a duty of care to other road users. Drivers should drive sanely, abiding by traffic rules and reasonably mindful of other road users. A driver’s duty of care reasonably increases whenever children are involved.

If a driver drives negligently causing a bike accident, the driver should be held responsible for injuries to the cyclist, damage to property, compensation for lost income, lost earning capacity if the victim is permanently incapacitated and much more.

In some cases, the manufacturer of the bike may be held liable if the accident occurred because the bike, or one of its parts, was defective. Say the bike’s chain broke, its pedals came apart or its brakes were faulty, causing an accident. Proving fault in a product liability case is not easy. You’ll need an experienced PA bike accident attorney, so schedule a consult with the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Louis P. Lombardi II & Associates today.

 


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