22/06/2018 0 Comments
Personal Injury Lawyers’ Safety Tips for Cyclists to Avoid Bicycle Accidents
With the warmer, drier weather comes a greater number of cyclists on the roads in Vancouver, BC. Bicycle accident lawyers see a corresponding increase in personal injury claims at this time of year as a result of crashes between bicycles and vehicles. This article will set out safety tips for cyclists to avoid bicycle accidents, followed by tips from the personal injury lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP on what to do if you have been injured as a result of a bicycle accident.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
Here are the top tips from our for personal injury lawyers for preventing bicycle accidents and injuries:
1. Remember that cyclists and drivers alike have responsibility for their own safety and the safety of other road users. In fact, the applicable BC law – the Motor Vehicle Act – states that cyclists have the same rights and duties as the operator of a vehicle. This means that cyclists must follow the rules of the road, including obeying traffic signals. Keep to the right-most side of the road and always shoulder check and use hand signals before turning or stopping.
2. Whenever possible, use designated bike lanes. They are designed to reduce conflict between bicycles and vehicle traffic. Translink’s website has helpful bike lane maps and a route planning tool for Vancouver, BC. In addition, the City of Vancouver’s website sets out the meanings of cycling signs, signals, and road markings, which is a great resource even for seasoned cyclists.
3. If there is no bike lane, do not ride on the sidewalk. BC law prohibits cycling on the sidewalk and through crosswalks. Many cyclists believe that cycling on the sidewalk is “safer”, but as our personal injury lawyers have previously discussed, sidewalk cycling is actually more risky because drivers are not expecting to see cyclists there.
4. Ensure that you are visible to other road users. After all, a driver cannot yield the right-of-way or avoid a collision with a cyclist that a driver cannot see. Wear bright colours when cycling and have reflectors on your bicycle and clothing. Note also that BC law requires cyclists to equip their bike with certain lights and reflective gear if cycling between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise – see section 183(6) of BC’s Motor Vehicle Act for more details.
5. Always wear an approved bicycle helmet. It is the law in BC and you could be fined for not wearing one. And the reality is, a fine is the least of your worries if you are involved in an accident while not wearing a bike helmet – your injuries may be more significant, and the personal injury compensation you may be entitled to could be reduced as a result of your failure to wear a helmet (a legal principle known as “contributory negligence” – see here for a discussion of contributory negligence prepared by our personal injury lawyers.
If You Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to significant injuries or death in accidents with vehicles. Here are our Vancouver, BC bicycle accident lawyers’ tips for you if you are involved in a cycling accident involving a motor vehicle:
• Try to remain calm. Adrenaline will be running high, and you may think you are “OK” – nevertheless, it is essential that you get the name and contact information of the driver and any witnesses. The full extent of your injuries may not be apparent until the hours and days after the accident.
• It is always a good idea to document the vehicle/plate, where your bicycle ended up in relation to the vehicle, any visible injuries, etc., so if you are able, take photographs while at the scene of the accident. If, due to your injuries, you are not able to do so at the scene, then make a point of writing down how the accident occurred and what you remember as soon as possible after the accident. Save your helmet, clothing, and bicycle as they may be valuable evidence of what happened.
• Get the medical attention you need, whether that means going by ambulance, taking yourself to the emergency room, or seeing your doctor immediately after the accident.
• Contact one of our team of Vancouver, BC bicycle accident lawyers, preferably before making a statement to ICBC. We will discuss your injuries and how to get compensation, including compensation for rehabilitation and medical services, income loss, and household assistance (known as Part 7 or “no fault” benefits).
Call us at 1-855-852-5100 to arrange your free initial consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We will explain your options so you can decide for yourself whether you need a lawyer to help you.
Legal Guidance & More, from Injury to Recovery
Bronson Jones & Company LLP exclusively represents victims of motor vehicle accidents, and that’s all we do! Unlike other law firms which deal with everything from dog bites to divorce, Bronson Jones has built more than 30 years of trial experience and in negotiating fair settlements for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents.
We’ve also developed an extensive network of medical and occupational specialists, therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and others to help you recover and deal with the impact of your injury on your physical health, family life, finances and future. Additionally, such reports may be essential in the development of your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call any of the 13 Bronson Jones locations in the Lower Mainland for our expertise and advice. All of our cases are handled on a contingency (percentage) basis and you don’t pay until we collect.