Cycling is a popular sport in Arizona due to good weather almost year-round. Unfortunately, this also means that car-bike accidents happen. It seems obvious that if a car hits a bicyclist, the court will consider the driver liable. Have you ever wondered, though, what happens when a bicycle hits a car?
What Happens When a Bicycle Hits a Car, Legally Speaking?
Arizona laws generally treat bicyclists like other vehicles on the road, meaning that cyclists must follow the same traffic laws and rules as cars or motorcyclists. For example, if you are riding in the street, you must go with the flow of traffic. Many people think it’s safer to ride opposite traffic so you can see what’s coming, but it’s actually against the law.
If a bicyclist is riding against traffic and hits a car, the court may consider them liable, and they would likely have to pay damages to the car owner. Even if the cyclist becomes injured in the crash, if the police deem the accident to be their fault, they may not receive compensation for their injuries. This is what happens when a bicycle hits a car purposefully or because of negligence.
What Obligations Does a Bicyclist Have on the Road?
Bicyclists in Arizona must follow specific rules and have certain obligations to help them be more visible, ride safely, and prevent accidents.
Follow Traffic Laws
For example, cyclists must obey all traffic laws, just as a car would, and cannot ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Bicyclists must stay off of sidewalks and stay as close to the curb as they possibly can, except when getting into a through lane to cross an intersection. They must also signal when turning or stopping.
Another obligation of bicyclists is to have proper lighting on their bikes between sunset and sunrise, such as a front lamp that is visible 500 feet in front of the bike and reflectors that other drivers can see at least 50 feet from behind. Lack of visibility is one of the most common causes of bicycle and automobile accidents.
Maintain the Bicycle
It is also essential for bicyclists to maintain their bikes in working order and ensure that everything is in its place to avoid problems with brakes or steering that could cause a crash.
Although this might not be a law per se, riding defensively means that the cyclist is actively anticipating dangers or hazards and is constantly aware of their surroundings. This is one of the best things someone on a bike can do to prevent accidents.
So, What Happens When a Bicycle Hits a Car?
When an accident happens, the important thing is to remain calm and have the police file a report, then get the necessary medical treatment. Whether a car hit you or you hit a vehicle and the officer declared you to be at fault, you will likely have to go to court.
If you experienced an accident involving a bicycle and a car in Arizona or sustained injuries and have been unable to work, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to help you understand exactly what happens when a bicycle hits a car and afterwards. Contact us today for a free consultation.