Nevada bicycle accidents: a primer

When bicycles and vehicles meet, bicyclists can suffer serious or fatal injuries.

Bicycling is a great form of exercise and a wonderful way to quickly get where you need to go. There are obvious health benefits to bicycling, and there are also environmental ones; by choosing to ride your bike instead of driving, you are lowering your carbon footprint and helping protect the environment. In addition, biking allows you to see the scenery, so if you are bicycling around Las Vegas, you get a birds-eye view of the glitz and glamour that makes the city famous and draws in millions of tourists each year.

All those benefits aside, there is one big drawback to bike riding in a densely populated area such as Vegas: having to share the road with countless vehicles can be a recipe for disaster if drivers aren't attentive and vigilant. Because you are much more exposed than a vehicle occupant, if a reckless or negligent driver collides with you, you are likely to suffer serious injuries or even be killed.

It may be that a distracted driver was busy looking at his or her phone and didn't see you lawfully proceeding through an intersection and made a turn in front of you (a common cause of car-versus-bicycle crashes). Alternatively, a passenger could open his or her door in front of you when parked alongside a bicycle lane; this is another common type of injury-causing bike accidents.

Key facts and statistics

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, in 2010 (the most recent year for which such data is available to the public), there were nearly 600 bicycle-versus-car accidents. Almost all of them involved injuries, and nine bicyclists were killed. The majority of the accidents were found to be the fault of the driver involved, not the bicyclist, a trend that is common across the country as well. Furthermore, the NDOT also reports that most Nevada bike accidents occur between the hours of noon and 9:00pm, with a spike in accidents between 3:00pm and 6:00pm, particularly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

This problem isn't one just affecting children or teenagers anymore, as was common in years past. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the average age of bicyclists killed in 2013 in accidents involving vehicles was 44, and the majority of these accidents happened in urban areas like Las Vegas.

What can you do if you're hurt in a bike accident?

If you have been injured while biking because of the negligent or reckless actions of a vehicle driver or occupant, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages and the pain and suffering you have to endure.

When you have been hurt, you need to focus on your recovery. By letting an experienced personal injury attorney like those at the Las Vegas office of The Gage Law Firm handle the legal matters, you will be free to devote your time and energy to your health. Call the firm today locally at 702-869-0800 or toll free at 866-974-1137, or send them an email to schedule a free initial case consultation.