Tucson is perfect for bicycling. We have great weather and more sunshine than most other states. Therefore, it is no surprise that we have a larger number of cyclists on the roads. For many non-cyclists, the perception is that cyclists take their lives into their own hands when they venture onto the streets and that they are partial responsible if involved in an accident, simply by being on the road.
Any experienced cyclist knows that the main risks of bike accidents come from three sources: unaware motorists, swinging car doors, and jaywalking pedestrians. Cyclists are expected to be alert to these dangers while simultaneously keeping an eye on the pavement for potholes, metal plates, and other ground-level hazards.
Bicycle accidents are much less common than those involving pedestrians or automobiles, but bike accidents often result in more severe injures. Because of this, it is important that a cyclist always wear a helmet and stays alert to their surroundings. This is especially important in Tucson since Arizona has the fourth highest cycling fatality rate in the United States. According to a study of federal transportation data obtained by USA Today, Arizona had by far the worst death rate in the United Stats, with 6.5 fatalities for every 100,000 people. Arizona also had three of the four most dangerous cities for red-light fatalities. Phoenix topped all urban areas, followed by Memphis, Mesa, and Tucson.
Bicyclists have rights! In 2003, 26-year-old Tucsonan, Brad Gorman, was riding his bike to work when he was struck and killed by a distracted driver. Andy Clarke, from the league of American Bicyclists, says that this tragedy was the catalyst for laws to be passed in Arizona to help prevent bike accidents. In 2000, Arizona passed legislation that when passing, vehicles must give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance and five feet when passed by commercial trucks, semis, RVís and busses. The wind pushed out from the side of these larger vehicles can easily cause a bicycle crash. If room permits, commercial drivers are required to give a cyclist a full lane of clearance.
Cars driving recklessly can cause catastrophic and fatal bicycle accidents. Motor vehicle drivers are required by law to SLOW DOWN and carefully pass cyclists. Motorists need to be especially careful at railroad crossings, cattle guards, construction zones, and in poor weather conditions. Cyclists are allowed to briefly move to the left in order to safely cross railroad tracks. Motorists are not allowed to use their horns when following a cyclist. If the sudden blast of a horn startles the cyclist and causes a bike crash, the driver of the motor vehicle can be cited for causing the accident.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a bicycle accident, it is vital that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call Grabb & Durando, we will fight for your rights and help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
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