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Factors the help determine fault in a car vs. bicycle accident

On Behalf of | Nov 12, 2021 | Bike Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

Car versus bicycle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries for cyclists and loss of income during recovery. If you were in a collision with a car and sustained serious injuries, proving fault can help you receive compensation for damages.

Cyclists have the same rights to the road as automobiles. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the transportation code addresses several aspects of bicycle operation, including the following requirements:

  • Using hand signals when turning
  • Maintaining brakes capable of making a braked wheel skid on clean pavement
  • Utilizing nighttime equipment that includes a headlamp and reflectors

If you obey the general traffic laws and those specific to bicycles but still collide with a motor vehicle, determining fault is often complicated.

Duty of care

Drivers and cyclists owe a duty of care to those nearby. As a cyclist, you must indicate turns well in advance and ride as far to the right as is practical. Officers at the crash site consider these factors when they take statements from individuals in the collision and those who witnessed the accident.

Talking on the phone or texting, eating and other distractions involved may also help determine fault. The presence of pedestrians, construction zones and poor weather or road conditions may add to the complexity of your case.

Deciding factors

Being hit by a motorist turning left or right is among the most common car vs. bicycle accidents. However, it is not uncommon for cyclists to get brushed by a passing vehicle. Officers on the scene gather facts and often look at negligence as a determining factor.

While you must follow road rules specifically for cyclists, motorists must also follow laws that pertain to cyclists. This includes staying a safe distance away when passing.

Understanding bicycle laws can help you ride safer near motor vehicles. It can also help ensure you receive compensation for damages if you require medical care and miss work due to a collision with an automobile.