3 common myths about bicycle accidents

Warm childhood memories often involve bicycling with friends. As an adult, you may still enjoy the simple pleasure of cycling. Many people combine riding pleasure with inexpensive bicycle transportation to work.

You may not realize it, but today's biking realities have changed significantly from your carefree childhood days. For example, consider three urban myths about bicycle riding.

Myth #1: Bicyclist-pedestrian collisions are rare

People seldom hear of a bicyclist-pedestrian accident. Many of them are probably underreported if the injuries are not serious. According to the Police Data Initiative, however, serious bicycle-pedestrian accidents have been increasing over the past decade in correlation with the rise of bicyclists commuting to work.

Myth #2: A car or bicycle cannot be cited in an accident if they don't make contact

If a car suddenly moves so that a bicyclist becomes injured while attempting evasive action, an accident has occurred. Even though the auto did not directly contact the bicycle, the car driver's erratic behavior may have caused the bicyclist's subsequent loss of control and injury. Depending on the cyclist's degree of personal injury or property damage, the auto driver must remain at the scene while an investigation takes place.

Myth #3: Bicyclists must yield to auto drivers at all times

For vehicle operation laws, the state of Ohio classifies a bicycle within the same general category as a car or truck. Drivers often do not realize that cyclists must follow the same laws as cars; therefore, the bicyclist has the same privileges and responsibilities as the auto driver. In the event of an injury, an investigation will identify factors such as the respective operators' behavior, road conditions or unexpected hazards. The car operator does not receive de facto favor over the bicycle rider.

Debunking a few myths reveals that the days of carefree childhood riding are in the past. It makes sense to treat your bicycle as you would your car. You may want to read and understand Ohio's rules and regulations for bike riding. Understanding cyclists' laws could increase your safety and improve your chance for a positive outcome in the event of an accident.

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