Accident Sends Bicyclist to Waco Hospital
A bicyclist in Waco went to the hospital after being hit by a pickup truck at the intersection of New Road and Franklin Avenue. The bicycle accident occurred on the morning of August 5, 2020. The bicyclist sustained head and leg injuries.
According to Fox44 News, this is the second car accident at that same intersection in two days. On Tuesday night, a three-car accident resulted in one fatality and five injuries. One of the drivers fled the scene of the accident.
According to Officer Garen Bynum of the Waco Police Department, the area is heavily traveled by motorists. It can be difficult for a motorist to see a pedestrian or bicyclist. Officer Bynum urged people to continue to be cautious to avoid being struck by a vehicle when riding or walking in the area.
Bicycle Accidents and Fatalities in Texas
There were 2,547 traffic accidents involving pedal cyclists in Texas in 2019. Sixty-eight people died in bicycle accidents that year. The fatality rate was slightly lower from the previous year when 71 bicyclists lost their lives in accidents.
Nationwide, 857 bicyclists died in traffic accidents during 2018. Bicyclists accounted for just over two percent of all traffic fatalities for the year. Texas had the third-highest number of bicycle fatalities in the nation in 2018.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents in Waco?
As in other cities and towns throughout Texas, human error and mistakes are common causes of bicycle accidents. Poor driving behaviors top the list of causes of bicycle accidents in Texas.
Common driving behaviors that can lead to a bicycle accident include:
- Improper lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Following too closely
- Fatigued driving
- Aggressive or reckless driving
However, other factors may also play a role in the cause of a bicycle accident. Poor weather conditions, limited visibility, road conditions, and poorly designed intersections can also be factors in the cause of a bicycle crash.
Identifying the cause of a bicycle accident is crucial. All parties who contributed to the cause of the bicycle accident can be responsible for damages caused by the crash. That includes the bicyclist.
Bicyclists Can Be Liable for Accidents and Damages
Bicyclists must obey all traffic laws. If a bicyclist breaks traffic laws or is negligent in causing the bicycle accident, the bicyclist may not recover full compensation for all damages caused by the crash. In some cases, the bicyclist may not recover any compensation for a bicycle accident.
Texas comparative fault laws bar a person from recovering any compensation for damages from an accident in which the person is 51 percent or more at fault. In other words, if a bicyclist is mostly at fault for the cause of the accident, the rider receives no money for an injury claim.
If the rider is less than 51 percent at fault, the rider may still receive money for an injury claim. However, the amount of money is reduced by the rider’s level of responsibility for the cause of the accident.
Working with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help ensure that the insurance company does not falsely accuse you of contributing to the cause of the crash. Insurance companies often use comparative fault allegations to unjustly deny or undervalue valid personal injury claims.
Bicycle Safety Tips for Texas Bicyclists
Bicyclists involved in an accident with a motor vehicle have a high risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries. The rider has almost no protection from injuries during the collision. Common bicycle accident injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Lacerations and road rash
- Fractures and broken bones
- Joint injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial injuries
- Injuries to the hands, elbows, ankles, and knees
- Chest injuries and damage to internal organs
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
The best way to protect yourself from bicycle injuries is to be proactive. Always wear a bicycle helmet and protective gear when you ride a bicycle. Teach children bicycle safety tips as soon as they begin riding any type of pedal cycle.
Try to wear brightly colored clothing and add reflectors to the bicycle to increase visibility. Adding a headlight and taillight designed for a bicycle can be very helpful, especially if you ride at night or early in the evening or morning.
Always obey all traffic rules and ride with traffic as close to the right side as possible. If there are bike lanes, make sure to stay within the bike lane. Use extra caution when approaching and crossing intersections.
You may not be able to control what a motorist does behind the wheel, but the steps you take to maintain your bicycle and ride safely can reduce your risk of a bicycle accident.