Bicycle riding in Arizona is a popular activity. The prevalence of bicycles on the state’s roads and highways have been steadily increasing. With frequent clear skies and warm weather, it’s no wonder so many people in Arizona choose to ride bikes for travel, exercise, and leisure. Unfortunately, the combination of bicycles and motor vehicles sharing roadways can quickly turn dangerous. As you might predict, when a crash between a motorized vehicle and a bicycle occurs, the cyclist is the one most likely to suffer an injury or fatality. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 850 cyclists are killed in traffic crashes each year.
Arizona Ranks High for Bicycle Accidents
Arizona is the 5th most dangerous state in the U.S. for bicyclists. Maricopa County far exceeds other Arizona counties as, generally, cyclist-related accidents happen more frequently in urban areas. Many crashes could be avoided if both motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and proceed with caution. Unfortunately, that’s not always the reality, hence why cyclist accident statistics are so high.
Major Reasons for Bike Accidents in Arizona
Negligence is often at the root of bike accidents. The most common causes of bike accidents in Arizona include:
- Collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles
- Defects in streets (e.g. potholes) which cause cyclists to lose their balance
- Malfunctioning traffic lights lead to confusion and subsequent crashes
- Dog chases that cause crashes and sometimes result in dog bites
- Dooring knocks a cyclist off their bike and causes injury
Sadly, drivers aren’t always cognizant when it comes to sharing the roadways with bicycles, which makes them a leading cause of bike accidents in the U.S.
Who is Legally at Fault?
Arizona is a pure comparative fault state. This means fault can be assigned to one party or both parties. The amount of damages a person can recover will be reduced by the percentage they are assigned. For instance, a car runs into a cyclist because the driver was busy texting and didn’t see them. The driver would likely be assigned 100% of the blame. However, in a similar accident where the cyclist committed an infraction (e.g. failed to use a hand signal or improperly changed lanes), it’s probable they’d be assigned a percentage of the blame.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
If you, or a loved one, has been hurt in a bicycle accident, it’s best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will ensure your personal injury case is handled properly and your rights are protected, especially if you weren’t at fault. At Rep Law, we’re here to serve Arizona residents as a leading personal injury law firm. To work with a professional and knowledgeable lawyer in your area, contact us today!