Help Children Avoid Bicycle Accidents
Riding a bike around Austin is an enjoyable summer activity for the entire family. But if not done safely, serious injuries can result from this otherwise safe activity.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 630 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents across the United States in 2019. Texas alone experienced nearly 16 percent of all cycling fatalities.
Though that number is down from the 786 killed in 2015, it still represents nearly two percent of all traffic fatalities.
Bicycle Safety Tips
TDOT recommends that riders wear helmets every time they get on a bike. This is the best way to prevent a severe head injury in the event of a fall or accident. Texas statutes require any person less than 18 years of age to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
Riders should also remember that they are considered vehicle operators and are required to follow the rules of the road. Statistics from the NHTSA note that 70 percent of fatal cycling accidents occur at non-intersection locations in urban areas, making it necessary for riders and motorists to know and observe traffic laws.
Increasing visibility is another way to stay safe. Wearing clothes that are bright in color during the day and those that are reflective at night can help other drivers see you. Lights should also be used if riding at night, both in the front and rear of the bicycle.
It is also essential to perform regular maintenance on your bike. Ensure the tires are properly inflated, and the brakes and chain are all in good working order.
Younger riders are particularly at risk, with nearly 13 percent of all fatal Austin bicycle accidents involving riders ages 16 and under. In addition to wearing helmets and following the rules of the road, The Austin Area Car Club recommends younger riders:
- Walk their bike across busy intersections
- Ride single file when in a group and never carry passengers
- Yield to pedestrians
- Take the safest route and avoid busy streets
- Stay alert for opening car doors
After an Accident
Due to the disparity in size and lack of protection for the rider, accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles often result in serious injuries. Contact an attorney to discuss your situation if you or a family member has been involved in a traffic accident while riding.
Challenges in Child Bicycle Accident Cases
When a motor vehicle driver hits a child on a bicycle, the excuse is always the same: They didn’t see the bike rider. This excuse comes up in cases involving adults as well. However, in cases involving children, additional blame is often passed onto the victim. The driver will say that the child, an inexperienced bike rider in most cases, was not riding correctly. In some cases, they are right, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a case.
Even if a child is partially responsible for the bicycle accident, we can still take action against the negligent driver. The driver is responsible for being aware of their surroundings and preventing accidents like these. In many cases, the driver was given additional warnings, such as school zone signs, that should have put him or her on alert to watch for children on bicycles. No matter how challenging a case may seem, our goal remains to get compensation for the victim.
Compensation for Child Bike Injury Victims
Children ride their bicycles to and from school, their friends’ houses, and everywhere. Even though they are a common sight on the streets of Austin and throughout Texas, drivers of motor vehicles who cause accidents frequently claim that they didn’t see the victim. At the Law Office of Joel A. Levine, our Travis County bicyclist accident lawyers know that these accidents are caused by negligence. We hold drivers accountable for the harm their negligence causes.
Child Struck by Car Near a Playground or School?
Our Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers have represented accident victims for over three decades. These are the types of cases we focus on. Our experience and focus have allowed us to overcome all challenges that may arise in a child’s bicycle accident claim.
Our lawyers welcome the privilege of consulting with you about your child’s bicycle accident claim. We accept cases on a contingency basis. We will advance all costs necessary to successfully prosecute your case. We are only paid for our services if we get results for you. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at (512) 982-1510.