With more people becoming health-conscious, bicycles are much more prevalent on streets everywhere. Because of this, towns and cities are adding bike lanes to roads in an effort to give cyclists a safe path to ride. Yet despite these lane additions, there are still numerous accidents involving cyclists and vehicles. As a result, some question if bike lanes cause traffic accidents.
Why Do These Accidents Happen?
Just like with a traffic accident between two vehicles, there are many reasons for collisions involving cyclists and automobiles. The most common are:
–Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on cell phone
–Motorist failing to yield
–Motorist running traffic light or stop sign
–Driving under influence of drugs or alcohol
If involved in a bike accident under any of these circumstances, always seek medical attention immediately, and also contact an accident lawyer to discuss your situation.
Do Bike Lanes Create More Traffic Congestion?
In a recent study of 10 roads in Minneapolis that included bike lanes, data was compiled to see if the addition of bike lanes created more traffic congestion. While the results showed that roads where a lane originally for cars had been converted into a bike lane did show slight increases in congestion during rush hour, this was not the case on all roads. In fact, roads that were not at full traffic capacity showed little if any change. Another study in New York City showed similar results, leading to the conclusion that it was not the bike lanes causing traffic accidents, but rather it was the roads on which they were located. Thus, city planners in these cities, along with others such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle, have found that by adding bike lanes to the proper streets, traffic congestion and accidents do not increase.
Steps to Take After a Bike Accident
Regardless of where a bike lane is located, there is always the chance you will be involved in a traffic accident while riding your bike. If you are, always take certain steps as soon as possible, such as:
–Seek medical attention
–Obtain contact information from driver and witnesses
–Take photos of scene and your injuries
–Do not admit fault
To ensure your legal rights are protected every step of the way, contact an accident lawyer immediately to discuss your case. By doing so, you’ll have experienced and knowledgeable legal representation to guide you through this complex process.