Are Motorists Always at Fault in Bicycle Accidents?

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worried young driver calling the ambulance after hitting and injuring accidentally a female bicyclist on a city streetWe've all had the experience of needing to share the road with cyclists. Operating a motorized vehicle alongside bike riders can be tricky, and it can add a bit of tension to your commute. Most motorists can navigate this situation comfortably and go about their day. Sometimes, things don't always go so smoothly. 

Sometimes, motorists and cyclists miscommunicate as they try to share the road, leading to accidents. While it's a common belief that motorists are always at fault in the event of a bicycle-involved collision, the answer is not always cut-and-dry. The law office of Herbert Thornbury specializes in handling traffic accidents, including helping you deal with complicated bicycle collisions.

Here are a few things you should know if you are in this situation and what you can do.

How Motorists Can Cause Bike Accidents

Several factors can be responsible for a bicycle collision. One of the primary causes of bicycle accidents is motorists failing to yield to cyclists. Sometimes, not yielding to cyclists results from simply not seeing them coming, leading to accidents. In other cases, failure to yield can happen due to impatience. Some people, for many reasons, drive carelessly. When this happens, it's easy to make mistakes and not see cyclists, leading to trouble.

Another reason for bicycle collisions is motorists getting into the path of a cyclist. Again, this situation typically happens from being unaware of your surroundings. If you aren't paying attention, it can be easy to mistakenly drift into bike lines and hit a cyclist. 

How Cyclists Can Cause Accidents

Bicycle riders also have an immense responsibility when sharing the road with motorists. In Tennessee, cyclists have the same responsibilities as motorists, and adhering to these responsibilities is crucial. Cyclists must do their part by making sure that they are visible to motorists by wearing bright, reflective colors and equipping their bikes with lights to ensure visibility during night rides. When these things don't happen, it can cause trouble for everyone and lead to unintended consequences.

Also, cyclists must communicate their intended path with motorists and use hand signals to designate when they want to turn. If the bicycle does not communicate well with a motorist, it can cause issues and possibly contribute to a collision.

Who is at Fault?

The matter of who is at fault in a bicycle accident depends on the nature of the situation and the factors involved. If you find yourself in this situation, it's crucial for you to gather as much information as you can to aid in the progression of your case. Also, please reach out to us so that we can conduct a formal investigation into your accident and help fight for the compensation you may be owed. For more on how we can help, please schedule a consultation with us by calling us today at 423-991-2231.