May is National Bike Month, an initiative sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists to promote bike riding and, more to the point, safety while bike riding. In our state, the months of May through November are the months in which there are increased numbers of traffic collisions involving pedalists....KEEP READING
Bicyclists are a minority on South Carolina roads, but a vulnerable one. Like motorcyclists, they don’t have the advantage of seat belts, air bags and a cage of reinforced steel to keep them safe in a collision. Unlike motorcyclists, they must stay on the sides of roads, where they’re harder for motorists to see, impossible to hear and vulnerable to driveways, and at risk for opening car doors and the debris and water that collects at curbs. And helmets are not required in South Carolina for cyclists over the age of 20, which means adult bicyclists are often exposed to death or disabling brain damage from traumatic brain injuries, which often result when a careless motorist hits a bicyclist.
If you or someone you care about was hit on a bicycle and seriously injured or killed in a vehicle accident with a careless motorist, contact the Louthian Law Firm today via our online form, or call us Toll free: 888-662-2897 or Locally: 803-454-1200 for a free evaluation of your case.
Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2005, cyclists made up 2% of all traffic deaths and 2% of all injuries. It also shows that children on bicycles are at special risk — cyclists under age 16 made up 18% of all fatalities in 2005. Children ages 5 to 15 died in bicycle accidents at a rate of 3.0 per million population — 14 percent higher than the rate for all age groups. And the majority of fatal bicycle accidents in South Carolina and nationally happen between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., during the summer, prime times for kids with bikes. However, the proportion of bicyclists over 25 has grown dramatically since 1995, and the average age of a fatally injured cyclist was 38 — showing that this is an adults’ issue as well.
Both bicyclists and motorists often complain that the other group does not “share the road.” South Carolina state law grants bicyclists all the rights of motorized vehicles, but also all of the responsibilities. That means that bicyclists must obey stop signs and traffic signals, just as they would while driving a car. Motorists must allow bicycles to occupy a reasonable part of the road and yield when appropriate. And the law says drivers must take special care when approaching a child in the road (as well as a person who is “obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated”).
A collision between a car or truck and a bicycle can be catastrophic. Research shows that the top cause of traffic death for bicyclists is a traumatic brain injury. When brain-injured patients live, they often live with crippling disabilities, including problems getting around, reduced intelligence, trouble remembering things, speech problems and even personality changes. Other traumatic bicycle injuries include spinal injuries, crushed bones and even amputations. Families sustaining such an injury must worry not only about their loved one’s permanent disability and pain, but also the financial costs of a catastrophic injury.
If you or someone you love was hurt by an irresponsible driver while riding a bicycle, you have the right to hold that driver responsible for the results. In a bicycle accident lawsuit, you may be able to recover money to pay for past and future medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, and other financial results of the vehicle accident, as well as compensation for a wrongful death, permanent disability or serious injury. As soon as you begin considering bicycle accident litigation, you should contact a South Carolina bike accident injury attorney at the Louthian Law Firm. We have helped South Carolina accident victims win the compensation they deserve since 1959, and we are committed to providing personalized service. For a free evaluation of your case, call us today at Toll free: 888-662-2897 or Locally: 803-454-1200 or fill out our confidential online consultation form.