When it comes to the concerns that permeate your daily life, it is normal to focus on those that could directly impact you while paying less attention to those you can avoid. Of course safety on a construction site is very important, but if you work in an office, you might not consider construction safety a top priority, for example. This line of thinking often bleeds over to the context of safety on the Phoenix roadways – drivers acknowledge that vehicular safety matters but give less thought to the safety of others, including bicyclists, because they do not ride.
It is a mistake to think that the threats to cyclists are unimportant or less important than the threats to others on the roads, even if you don’t ride, because the truth is that everyone is affected by the safety and riding of cyclists.
It is the moral and legal responsibility of every driver who uses Arizona’s roads to know and follow the laws that govern traffic flow. Under these laws, cyclists are legally permitted to use the roadways except where otherwise prohibited and they, too, must follow the rules of the road. As it is legal for bicyclists to ride, motor vehicle drivers must respect the rights of riders and must act reasonably in their presence. This means letting cyclists take the right-of-way where warranted, yielding to them if needed, providing them with plenty of space to ride, and allowing them to turn or change directions.
Failing to follow traffic rules and failing to respect the rights of a cyclist can lead a driver to be cited or ticketed by local authorities. Worse, a driver may cause a bicycle accident and, if that happens, injuries are likely to result. Across the state, more than 90 percent of bicycle riders who are involved in crashes with motor vehicles are injured in those accidents every year, making them particularly threatening when they happen. Unfortunately, a number of riders are killed in accidents annually as well and no amount of relief can ever undo those losses.
Put simply, even if you do not ride a bicycle, you may be involved in a collision with one while in Maricopa County and therefore bicycle safety should be a concern to you. If you are found to be at-fault for a crash that causes injuries or even death, odds are that you may find yourself facing a civil citation, traffic ticket, or criminal charges and you may be penalized with anything from fines and fees to incarceration in prison.
The laws in Arizona go beyond criminal penalties to include financial damages experienced by victims or the surviving family members of those who were killed in an accident. An at-fault driver may be forced to provide payment for a victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of a normal life, and other damages that stem from a crash if the victim chooses to bring a civil claim. By working with a personal injury attorney, victims can rest assured knowing that an advocate will be fighting for their rights and for the full value of their claims so that they can move forward with their lives.
If a bicycle accident in Tempe, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, or Phoenix has affected your life, call the legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. today where one of our attorneys will offer you a free case consultation without obligation. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and if we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
IIHS: Arizona Could Reduce Deaths Related to Teen Drivers by 41 Percent with New Rules, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 22, 2016.