The streets just got safer for Philadelphia’s cyclists. Whether you prefer a fixed gear, road bike, fat tires or tandem, a new state law established a four-foot buffer between bikers and motor vehicles. Collisions between automobiles and bikes have decreased in recent years, but if you are involved in such a situation, you may need a bicycle accident lawyer. Philadelphia boasts some of the highest cycling rates in the country so it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities on the road.
In Pennsylvania, a biker has the same duty as any other driver to keep his bike under control so that he can stop or turn it to avoid collisions. This means that a biker’s recovery may be reduced under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence statute if the biker contributes to the cause of the accident by riding negligently. For you bike messengers out there, bikers are also held to the same rules of the road as drivers and are expected to yield the right of way when entering an intersection. Philadelphia residents know and trust, Edith Pearce is an avid biker herself, and is well acquainted with these regulations and can help you develop your case should an accident occur.
Pennsylvania statues also bar cyclists from riding on sidewalks and against the flow of traffic. Courts do not look kindly upon bicyclists who have opportunities to avoid collisions but ultimately decide against biking cautiously. You never know when a group of school children may emerge from behind a parked car and you have to swerve to avoid them. If you are on the correct side of the street, you may have a strong case for recovering damages. If you are on the wrong side, you may find yourself being sued! Remember to ride smart and ride safe. But if you forget, a bicycle accident lawyer in Philadelphia has the expertise to protect you when you don’t expect the unexpected.