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8 Things Cyclists Can Do to Minimize Risk of Accidents with Cars

Steve Wagner

Synopsis

  • A woman riding her bike was tragically struck by a motor vehicle and killed while crossing State Road 3 in Greensburg on Saturday, July 7.
  • In the U.S., more than 800 people lose their lives in crashes between bicycles and motor vehicles each year, and more than two people die every day from the mostly preventable accidents.
  • It’s important for both bicyclists and motorists to refresh themselves on some of Indiana’s traffic laws.
  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists on designated paths and sidewalks, and drivers must leave a minimum distance of 3 feet when passing cyclists. By law, bicycles on the roadway are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.

Greensburg Crash Between Car and Bicycle Ends in Tragedy

Accident reports coming out of Decatur County show a woman was killed while riding her bicycle in Greensburg on Saturday, July 7. According to Indiana State Police, the woman was “riding southbound on Broadway Street and crossing State Road 3 when she was struck by a Nissan Altima driving eastbound, throwing her off the bicycle.” She was transported to Decatur County Memorial Hospital and later died from her injuries. The driver of the vehicle was also treated but for only minor injuries. Indiana State Police believe there is evidence that shows the car had the right of way over the cyclist at the intersection. The investigation continues as more information is collected.

Indiana Vehicle Code ​Section 9-21-11-2 states, “A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all the rights and duties … that are applicable to a person who drives a vehicle.” Many Indiana city ordinances also say that, “Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists on designated paths and sidewalks and that drivers must leave a minimum distance of 3 feet when passing cyclists.”

Right of Way Can Be Confusing for Cyclists

Bicycles, since they are considered “vehicles,” are subject to the same rules as other drivers including yielding right of way so that a crash can be avoided. When a bicyclist yields the right of way to a vehicle, they are letting them go first. Cyclist should be sure to understand right of way and follow these additional, suggested safe riding tips.

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Make sure clothing and bikes are visible to others. All should be equipped on a bike for nighttime riding.
  • Indiana bike riders cannot carry anything if it prevents them from having both hands on the handlebar.
  • Use hand signals and try to make eye contact with cars before making turns.
  • Ride with car and truck traffic and not against it.
  • Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a car.
  • Assume the other person doesn’t see you so look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause you to fall like wild animals, trash, rocks, potholes, and grates or train tracks.
  • Avoid texting, listening to music or being distracted.

Many Bike Crashes Are Inevitable, Talk to a Lawyer

Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your personal injury or bicycle accident claim with years of experience and proven results. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation or speak with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information.

Additional Resources: View the complete Indiana Code, Chapter 11. Bicycles and Motorized Bicycles for a detailed description of all applicable stated laws.

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