Texas Motor Vehicle and Bicycle Collisions on the Rise

Bicyclist accidents on the increase in Texas

As the season changes from summer to autumn in Texas, many of us will spend more time riding our bikes in the beautiful, mild weather that will finally nice enough to enjoy. Though bicycling is a great form of exercise and a great way to conserve energy, there are serious dangers for cyclists on Texas roadways.

Beware of Distracted Drivers

Often, cyclists collide with cars, SUVs, pickup trucks or buses because the drivers are distracted in some way. When this happens, more than likely it is the cyclist who is going to be seriously injured or killed, not the vehicle’s driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2% of all traffic deaths and 2% of all crash-related injuries in 2012 involved cyclists.

By being aware of the following statistics on bicyclist fatalities, you stand a better chance of staying safe on your bike ride:

  • 48% of bicyclist deaths happened between 4 p.m. and midnight in urban areas.
  • About 9 out of 10 of cyclists who were killed while riding were male.
  • One out of four cyclists who died in crashes had illegal alcohol levels or .08 or higher.

Know and Follow the Rules of the Road

The Texas Department of Transportation urges cyclists to follow the rules of the road, including using proper signaling, stopping for lights, wearing visible attire and wearing a helmet at all times. Motor vehicle drivers need to make more of an effort to pay attention to cyclists on the roads and give them more room.

If you do become injured by a motor vehicle while riding your bike, your financial stability can be seriously affected by medical bills and time off work. In addition to this, the insurance company of the driver who hit you will argue that you should have yielded the right-of-way to the motor vehicle. They are wrong.

Don’t Go It Alone

Cyclists in Texas are entitled to use roadways but are often treated unjustly by insurance companies. These companies will attempt to pay you as little as possible, or nothing at all. Make sure you have representation from an experienced attorney if you find yourself, or someone you love, seriously injured or killed by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle. Don’t fight the insurance company alone!



Common Bicycle Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Bicycle Safety

As the weather in Texas becomes nice outside, many people will take to the streets on their bicycles to get some exercise. Unfortunately, each year over a hundred riders suffer from serious injuries and are involved in accidents with motor vehicles.

The latest statistics show that these bicycle accidents are most often the fault of the automobile driver. Motorists simply don’t watch out for bicycle riders as carefully as they should, and many are distracted by cellphones or other electronic devices.

Cyclists just don’t seem to get the respect they deserve from automobile drivers, and deadly collisions occur all too often in Texas. Being aware of the most common reasons that these accidents occur just may help you avoid becoming a statistic.

These are the most common causes of bicycling accidents today:

  • Negligent motorists are the number one cause of bicycle injuries and deaths (making sharp turns in front of cyclists, following too closely, driving cyclists off the road, sideswiping cyclists on the shoulder of the road)
  • Negligent from manufacturers or retailers of bicycles, bicycle parts, bicycle accessories and/or vehicles (defective products)
  • Unsafe conditions on public property (negligent design, maintenance or upkeep of public property, including tree trimming or other obstructions or obstacles.
  • Unsafe conditions on private property (negligent or defective maintenance or lack of upkeep on private property)

In order to avoid these events, be aware of behaviors like this from motorists around you and always be a defensive driver. Always use signals, and ride in bicycle lanes that are constructed just for bicycle riders whenever possible. Also, only ride with the appropriate, legal number of riders that the bicycle is made to hold. Proper turn lanes should be used at all times.

Consult Legal Counsel

If you or a family member has been injured as the result of a bicycle accident, call the expert bicycle injury lawyers at Van Wey Law right away. Our attorneys will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and gather every piece of evidence to build the strongest possible case. We will work to see that you are fully compensated for damages to your bicycle and gear, plus all medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Our friendly staff is accessible 24 hours a day for your questions and concerns.



Danger Increasing for Pedestrians Surrounded by Distracted Drivers

Kay Van Wey warns of increasing dangers for pedestrians on the roadways with distracted drivers

Distracted drivers are not only putting their own lives at risk more and more, they are also taking the lives of innocent pedestrians sharing the roadways. Recent studies show an increase in pedestrian deaths as a result of distracted drivers. 50% more pedestrians died at the hands of distracted drivers in 2010 than in 2005.

Distracted driving has become a public threat and is pervasive in our society, making it that much more difficult to deal with. If you stand at the road side and watch drivers, you will most likely see many who are texting, talking, using a GPS, or fidgeting with a cellular device in some way.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three main types of distraction while driving:

  • Manual distraction, which involves taking your hands off the wheel (i.e., eating or applying makeup while driving),
  • Visual distraction, meaning your eyes are no longer on the road (i.e., texting),
  • Cognitive distraction, taking your mind off driving

Although the number of motor vehicle deaths has declined in the United States, distracted driving deaths, including pedestrians killed by distracted drivers, continue to rise. Pedestrians who are sharing the roadways by cycling, walking, or other activities, are going to have to be more aware of this threat.

Today, if most of us see a driver who does not have a young child restrained properly in a car seat, we are likely to be upset with the driver. Many of us will say something to the driver, demonstrating our anger and lack of acceptance for placing a child’s life in danger. However, when we see someone using a cellular device while driving, it is somehow more acceptable. This has to change, as we realize more and more the threat we are placing on the lives of others by being so distracted while driving.

Cases of distracted driving are likely under reported as well because it is so difficult for police to prove. This makes distracted driving much more difficult to enforce than other laws, like child restraint laws. The evidence on policies intended to curb distracted driving is mixed, and some are just not working. Policy makers suggest that if this is the case, we need to think about marking crosswalks and bike paths more clearly, and separate cyclists more from the dangers of traffic.

65 percent of pedestrian victims of distracted driving crashes were male between the ages of 25 and 64 years old, Caucasian, and more likely to be struck outside of a marked crosswalk in a city. Bicycling victims were mostly male — 83 percent, between the ages of 25 to 64 years old and Caucasian. About half of the accidents occurred during daytime hours.

Those who enjoy cycling, walking, or running near busy streets need to be fully aware of their surroundings, and know that distracted drivers are all around, placing them in danger.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident involving a distracted driver, you should call an attorney who can assist you with a claim against the driver. Call Kay Van Wey of Van Wey Law in Dallas, Texas at (214) 329-1350, to get the facts sorted out.