When a car, weighing nearly two tons, slams into a 15-pound bicycle, there is not much chance the bike rider will walk away unscathed. If this has happened to you or a family member, you know how your life can change in one brief moment. Medical bills pile up, you are unable to work or go to school due to your injury, and you are not sure if you will ever completely recover.
Our Boise bicycle accident attorneys at Litster Frost Injury Lawyers are here for you and may be able to help. We have seen the devastating injuries bicyclists have sustained after being hit by a car. We are skilled in proving negligence and work diligently to see that our clients receive all the compensation to which they are legally entitled.
Most Common Causes of Idaho Bicycle Accidents
According to Boise police officer Andy Johnson, quoted in idahostatesman.com, “People just don’t understand what the laws are.” Officer Johnson has 45 years of experience riding bicycles and has spent more than a decade as a bike patrol officer.
Johnson notes that Idaho law requires drivers to allow at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle when passing. Although this seems like plenty of room for the car driver, it seems “way too close” to a cyclist.
Officer Johnson also points out that many car drivers are unaware of Idaho’s “stop law” which allows bicyclists to treat a stop sign as a yield sign and a red light as a stop sign. Many drivers think the cyclist has broken the law and “ignorance turns into aggression” against the bicyclist.
Even when cyclists are following all the laws, they are still at risk of being injured by vehicle drivers. In 2015, no cyclist was killed on an Idaho Roadway. Alarmingly, however, In 2016, six Idaho bike riders lost their lives in accidents with cars. Hundreds more were injured.
The most common cause of bicycle accidents is human error on the part of the vehicle driver or bike rider. In 57 percent of bicycle injury accidents, the vehicle driver failed to “look properly.” Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Drivers open their doors to exit their vehicles without looking for bicyclists. The door either rams right into the cyclist as it is being opened, or the cyclist does not have time to stop and hits the open door.
- Drivers make a right-hand turn, crossing over the bike lane right into the path of the cyclist.
- A driver changes lanes without first looking to see if a bicyclist is in the lane.
- Distracted driving.
- Alcohol use by drivers or bicyclists.