Kentucky Bicycle Injury LawyerBicycle riders are extremely vulnerable on roads
Riding a bicycle has a lot going for it: It’s enjoyable, it’s a healthy activity, and it’s economical. But it can also be dangerous.
Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that bicyclists (pedalcyclists, to use their term) account for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities and 2 percent of traffic injuries. Nationally, for the year 2011 this means 677 people were killed and 48,000 were injured while riding their bicycle.
Bicycle Accidents in Lexington, Kentucky
Here in Lexington, Kentucky, there were 64 collisions in 2012 which involved a bicycle, according to the Lexington Division of Police. In the five years from 2008 to 2013, Fayette County saw 396 bicycle/motor vehicle collisions, with 293 injuries and 3 fatalities, according to OutrageGIS.com. Surprisingly, 21% of these were hit-and-run accidents. In Lexington, the most dangerous biking area is around the University of Kentucky campus. Other high-risk areas for bicyclists, according to OutrageGIS are “downtown, followed by small increases in crashes near Harrodsburg and Waller Ave, Winchester Rd, and on Loudon Ave. Critical street segments in order of greatest number of crashes are: Limestone north of Virginia Ave, Euclid Ave east of Woodland Ave, Rose St between Euclid and Huguelet Dr, and Winchester Road near intersection with East Third St.”
During the past ten years, Lexington has doubled its number of biking trails. The city has 24 miles of 10-foot wide asphalt, shared-use trails (for biking, skating, running and walking); 28 miles of bike lanes designated with white lines on the sides of city streets; and 6 miles of designated bike routes on streets too narrow for lanes. Lexington’s latest addition is the Legacy Trail, a 12-mile walking, biking, interpretive trail and public art venue. Beginning in downtown Lexington, it runs to the Kentucky Horse Park; a feasibility study is under way to consider its extension to Georgetown, Kentucky.
Making Lexington a bike-friendly community is a commendable goal of the city planners. Unfortunately, collisions between cars and bicycles are sure to continue. This is where we come in.
Julie Butcher, Bicycle Accident Attorney, Helping Injured Kentuckians
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash because of a reckless driver, Julie Butcher can help. With experience in personal injury litigation in and out of the courtroom, Julie can assist you in securing money to pay for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering you face as a result of someone else’s negligence. Call our toll-free number now (866-77JULIE) to speak with a compassionate personal injury attorney, or fill out our online contact form.
Causes of Lexington Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle riders are extremely vulnerable on roads filled with much heavier vehicles that are traveling much faster. There are some common factors in bicycle accidents; you’ll notice that many are the same factors involved in motor vehicle accidents in general.
- The driver doesn’t leave room and sideswipes the bicycle.
- Some cars fail to yield the right of way to a bicyclist.
- A bicyclist may get hit when a cars runs a stop sign or red light; however, according to NHTSA, two-thirds of all bicycle accidents occur at non-intersection locations.
- A bicyclist may be struck by a vehicle’s protruding side mirror.
- The driver exiting a parked car may open the door into a passing bicyclist.
- Drivers sometimes cut off bicyclists by making turns immediately in front of them.
- Driver distraction causes failure to see the bicycle in time to avoid a crash.
- Alcohol or impaired driving was involved (either by the driver of the motor vehicle or by the cyclist) in 37 percent of all fatal bicycle accidents, according to NHTSA.
Injuries Associated with Kentucky Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident can have devastating, even life-changing, consequences. A collision with a car or truck can leave the bicyclist with serious personal injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Abrasions (“road rash”)
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Scarring and disfigurement.
And, as the statistics quoted above show, a car/bicycle accident can result in death.
Kentucky Bicycle Laws
There are both state and local laws relating to bicycle use. Every bicycle rider should be familiar with what is required of them. The state regulations are found in 601 KAR 14:020, relating to KRS Chapter 189. Lexington’s ordinances are found at Article X, Sections 18-145 to 18-156. Both state and local laws address required equipment and safe operation. Some of the local provisions are worth noting (emphasis added):
- Sec. 18-145. Traffic laws apply. Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state . . . .
- Sec. 18-146. Obedience to traffic-control devices. Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic-control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
- Sec. 18-148. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths. (a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the righthand side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. . . (c) Whenever a designated bicycle path has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
- Sec. 18-149. Operation of bicycle. No person shall ride a bicycle at a distance of more than five (5) feet from the curb or edge of a roadway except when passing another vehicle.
- Sec. 18-151. Emerging from alley or driveway. The operator of a bicycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall . . . yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on such roadway.
Help You Need, From an Experienced Kentucky Bicycle Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident because of a driver’s negligence or recklessness, the Julie Butcher Law Office can help you get the compensation that will enable you to move ahead in your life. For more than 20 years, Julie Butcher has been helping personal injury victims throughout the Bluegrass State resolve the problems they face after an accident on the road.
A statute of limitations may affect your right to seek compensation for your injuries, so act without delay. Contact Lexington bicycle injury lawyer, Julie Butcher today for a free consultation — (859) 233-3641 or 866-77JULIE.