Over the past fifteen years, the number of people who choose bicycling as their preferred mode of transportation has increased by 60%. It used to be a leisure or exercise activity for most, but has become increasingly common as the primary mode of transportation for individuals living in cities and suburbs all around the nation. Unfortunately, the increased use of bicycles has also led to a significant increase in accidents involving vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. For example, the subject of today’s post is a bicyclist who collided with a parked truck.
This accident occurred on a rural, two-lane road in a non-residential area, and the parked truck was a UPS delivery truck, which was partially in the road. The injuries suffered by the bicyclist included incomplete quadriplegia, and he sued UPS for violating a state code prohibiting drivers from parking on the main part of a highway where it is practical to do otherwise. UPS was accused of endangering other people on the road because they did not train their driver to observe these parking laws.
Of course, from the perspective of UPS, the plaintiff should have simply avoided colliding with the delivery truck. With a former salary of $60K per year, the bicyclist was unable to return to work, so the plaintiff was awarded over $9 million. The plaintiff was also found to be 50% at fault for the collision, and the case is being appealed by the defendant.
This case illustrates how important it is for bicyclists to be aware of potential dangers on the road. They need to pay attention to objects in the road, the state of the weather, and other pedestrians and vehicles, all at the same time. It only takes one small mistake or distraction to wind up seriously, even fatally, injured from a collision.
It is important to be safe while riding a bicycle on road where there is other traffic. Some important safety tips for bicyclists include the following:
- Wear a helmet
- Follow road rules
- Put reflectors/lights on the bike, the helmet, and your clothing
- Be aware that others may not see you, though you see them
- Observe traffic and weather conditions
- Pay attention to conditions that limit visibility (including nighttime darkness)
- Watch for unsafe behavior from drivers (like speeding)
Always use common sense and obey all traffic laws when you are riding a bicycle, so that you can continue to enjoy this healthy, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly activity.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights and find out if you have a case.