These days, more and more people are choosing to ride their bikes to work. It could be to save money not having to purchase and maintain a vehicle, pay for gas, etc. It could be that they want to have a good way to exercise and stay in shape. It could be that they want to do what’s best for the environment. Or it could be a combination of these or other reasons.
Mississippi is a great state for biking, because we have warm weather year-round. In the summertime, bicycle traffic is even heavier because the kids are out of school and families like to use this time to take their vacations and do outdoor activities together.
Biking is a wonderful activity, but it is not without its dangers. When you are sharing the road with motor vehicles that are much larger, heavier, and faster than your bike, the results can be disastrous if the car and bicycle collide.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Each year, hundreds of bicyclists are killed and thousands more are severely injured in traffic-related crashes. And while the overall number of bicycle accidents has been declining in recent years, the number of fatal bike accidents has been on the rise.
Unfortunately, Mississippi has the unenviable distinction of having the highest rate of bicyclist fatalities per capita in the nation. Experts believe that this has a lot to do with the fact that Mississippi is largely a rural state, and we do not yet have the infrastructure in place to help bicyclists stay safer.
There are many reasons bicycle accidents occur, and they are very often due to negligence on the part of the motorist. Some common causes include:
- Distracted Driving: A large percentage of car/bicycle collisions are caused by the driver of the car not paying proper attention to where he/she is going. This has become an even bigger problem in our increasingly digitized society in which drivers feel the need to stay in continual contact with others, even when they are behind the wheel. Texting while driving and similar activities are especially dangerous, because they command the driver’s full attention, and drivers sometimes fail to see a bicyclist riding nearby.
- Drowsy Driving: Another common cause of driver inattentiveness that can lead to a bicycle accident is driving while drowsy or fatigued. This can cause the motorist to fall asleep at the wheel, or to just be sleepy, which results in slow reaction times and missing important details on the road. Drowsy driving is especially common at night and among those who drive for a living, such as commercial truckers.
- Reckless/Aggressive Driving: Some drivers are in a hurry to get where they are going. Others, for whatever reason, just choose to drive recklessly. Examples of aggressive or reckless driving that can cause a collision with a bicyclist include speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, failing to yield the right of way to a bicyclist, and many others.
- Chemical Impairment: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs plays a role in far too many traffic-related crashes. With all the festivals, concerts, parties, and other events in the summertime, alcohol use tends to increase, resulting in more DUI-related accidents. Bicycle accidents can also be caused by the bicyclist having too much to drink.
- Rider Inattentiveness: Bicyclists are also more susceptible to distractions these days, and this can cause them to make poor riding decisions, which sometimes results in a collision with a motor vehicle.
- Hazardous Road Conditions: As we eluded to earlier, lack of infrastructure and/or dangerous road conditions can often play a role in a car/bicycle crash. This is especially common in states like Mississippi, where there are thousands of miles of rural roads.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Mississippi? Contact an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Car vs. bicycle collisions can cause severe injuries and even fatalities. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a traffic-related by crash, you may be entitled to compensation.
Mississippi uses a pure comparative fault legal standard, meaning you can recover damages for your injuries even if you are partially at fault. However, damages are reduced in proportion with the percentage of fault you share for the accident. For this reason, it is always best to work with a skilled bicycle accident attorney, so you can recover the maximum amount possible for your injuries.
At Reeves and Mestayer, we have many years of experience successfully representing clients injured in bicycle accidents, and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries in Mississippi. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we have the knowledge, skills, resources, and dedication to help ensure that our clients secure the full and fair compensation they need and deserve.
Call us today at 228-374-5151 or toll free 1-855-558-2977 to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. You may also message us through our web contact form or stop by our Biloxi office in person at your convenience.