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Bicycles are considered vehicles under North Carolina law, and cyclists are obligated to the same responsibilities as other drivers and vehicle operators on public roads. Bicyclists are also entitled to the same rights that apply to vehicle operators.

As a result, drivers should exercise caution towards bicyclists in the same manner that they would to other vehicles. When a driver does not exercise caution, bicyclists are not without legal options. If you are a bike crash victim in Greenville, contact a Greenville bicycle accident attorney that can focus on protecting your rights and interests while you concentrate on healing.  A tenacious personal injury lawyer can fight for you.

New Laws

In 2016, North Carolina introduced new legislation targeted at ensuring the safety and protection of bicyclists. Beginning on December 1, 2016:

  • Motorists in no-passing zones are no longer prohibited from passing bicyclists. This is limited to times when the driver has the visibility to determine that the road is clear, the bicyclist is not making a left turn, and the driver can move into the other lane or allow four feet between the vehicle and the bicycle at the time of the passing.
  • Vehicle operators on highways or in public areas have increased penalties when they fail to use turn signals and it affects the operation of another vehicle, including a bicycle, causing injury.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with red front and rear lights or the cyclist is required to wear reflective garments on their upper body when cycling in the dark.

Failure to comply with these laws or any other that are applicable to vehicle operators can have an impact on a cyclist when an accident occurs. A finding that the bicyclist had some involvement in the cause of the accident or the extent of the injuries resulting from the accident could prohibit the cyclist from recovering for their damages.

Negligence

When bicyclists are injured on public roads, the cause of the accident is often attributable to the other person. Negligence, as a legal standard, occurs when one person has a legal duty to another and does not provide a reasonable standard of care, which leads to injury. Motorists have a duty to operate their vehicles in compliance with traffic laws to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

Drivers can be distracted by their telephones and other passengers. In some instances, drivers are just not paying enough attention to those sharing the highway with them, all of which results in vehicle crashes daily. Unfortunately, bike crashes that are caused by distracted drivers occur quickly since bicycles have smaller profiles, making them more difficult to see and react when a driver is not attentive.

For any crash victim, a vehicle collision can be serious, but for bike accident victims, the injuries are often more significant. The resulting injuries can be as minor as broken skin or broken bones and as traumatic as causing paralysis or death. A Greenville bicycle accident lawyer can help an individual pursue damages, if they wish to do so.

Consulting an Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike crash that was caused by a driver’s negligence in Greenville, a Greenville bicycle accident lawyer can help you focus on recovery to ensure that you are back on the road soon. Whether cycling is your hobby, profession, or passion, an attorney has the experience to guide you through the unique circumstances of your accident.