According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, accidents involving cars cause about 74% of all bicycle accident deaths. In the context of injuries, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration attributes 29% of all bicycle accident injuries to cars. One of the leading crash scenarios in both bicycle accident injuries and fatalities is when a bicyclist is crossing a roadway. Some of those accidents occur in marked crosswalks, while others occur in crosswalks that are unmarked.
A Tragic Philadelphia Crossing Accident
Earlier this week, another Philadelphia bicycle accident tragedy occurred at about 9:00 p.m. when an 18-year-old bicyclist died from the injuries that he suffered after being hit by a car that was traveling east on Kelly Drive. The bicyclist had been crossing the road. Whether he was crossing at a crosswalk or had one or more lights lit on his bike was unreported. The driver of the car remained at the scene of the crash.
Bicyclists’ Rights and Duties in Philadelphia
75 Pa. C.S. section 3501 states as follows: “(a) General Rule. – – Every person riding a pedalcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle …” Not only are bicyclists required to use due care and caution for the safety of others, but they must also use due care and caution for their own personal safety. Whether it’s a marked or unmarked crosswalk, a driver who encounters a pedestrian in a crosswalk must yield to that person. The rider of a bicycle in a marked or unmarked crosswalk isn’t a pedestrian though, so he or she must follow the rules of the road.
Walking a bicycle through any crosswalk is the safest alternative for crossing a street. A larger profile is presented to a motorist, and that motorist has an increased opportunity to slow down or even stop to yield the right-of-way to the bicyclist who is now a pedestrian. Don’t become another Philadelphia bicycle injury or fatality statistic as a result of a perfectly preventable accident. Crossing any roadway on two wheels or two feet carries an element of risk. Reduce that risk as much as possible by using due care and caution for your personal safety. If you’re interested in more safety and laws for cyclists, be sure to visit our page on safety and laws for Philadelphia cyclists.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are ever involved in a crash while walking your bike through a crosswalk, or involved in any other type of bicycle accident, contact The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers, P.C. for a free consultation and case evaluation. Insurers often blame cyclists for their injuries even if their insured driver was at fault or partially at fault.