A number of serious bicycle accidents in North Carolina have led to efforts to improve safety for cyclists.
Bicycle safety has become a major focus of several groups in North Carolina after a series of accidents within the state. Two children were injured in separate accidents recently when they were hit by cars while riding their bicycles. Officials are urging that people take some time to learn the basic bicycle and pedestrian safety rules before heading out on the road.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued some guidelines to riders and drivers to help them improve safety. It has recently started its "Watch for Me" campaign, which is designed to increase motorist awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians.
The program reminds motorists to stay alert while behind the wheel, as driver distraction is involved in many of these accidents. Drivers are also informed about some of the rules of the road, including when to yield to cyclists and pedestrians.
It encourages pedestrians and cyclists to wear bright clothing, especially if they are walking or riding at night, to make them more visible to drivers nearby. Pedestrians should also look both ways before entering a street, and if possible, cross only in a marked crosswalk. This is where motorists may be most alert and expect to see an individual trying to cross the roadway.
Cyclists are instructed to use hand signals if they are turning, so motorists know what they will be doing. Additionally, riders need to follow all traffic controls, as other vehicles on the roadway will be counting on them to follow these rules. Riders should also wear helmets, as this may prevent some of the serious injuries that often happen in these crashes.
The DOT states that over 900 people are involved in bicycle-vehicle collisions each year, while another 2400 pedestrians are hit by cars, and it hopes that these tips will help reduce the number of these crashes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycling accident due to the negligence of another driver, you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to review your claims. Your lawyer can provide you with in-depth analysis concerning your case, and help you determine how you wish to move your case forward.
Many of these accidents cause serious injuries to the cyclists and pedestrians. It can be very difficult at first to know the exact extent of the injuries, and the care that will be needed to help you or your loved one return to health. It may even be possible that you will require long-term care, and this can greatly increase your medical expenses.
Your attorney will ensure that you understand the costs associated with your crash, and can represent you in negotiations with the insurance companies involved. The insurers will have several attorneys working on their behalf reviewing your claims, and will be aggressive when trying to get you to accept an offer that benefits their bottom line. Do not let yourself get talked into any agreements without having an attorney on your side.