Charleston Bicycle Accident Attorney
Powerful Representation for Victims of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle safety on the roads of Charleston and the rest of South Carolina
is an area of great concern for local and state authorities alike. When
a car fails to take necessary precautions in driving safely around cyclists,
the cyclist is the one who oftentimes suffers greater injury. Because
bicycles offer virtually no protection to their riders, injuries from
bicycle accidents are notoriously severe. If the driver of a car was responsible
for causing a cyclist's injuries, a
personal injury attorney in Charleston can assist the victim in recovering compensation.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 46,000 cyclists are injured in accidents
and most of those accidents involved a car or other vehicle. In the year
2003, 622 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents, 30% of those fatal
accidents involved alcohol-impaired driving by one or more involved.
Bicycle Accidents and Negligent Driving
The dangers for cyclists on public roads and streets are very real. In
South Carolina, it is estimated that bicycle accidents make up 1.6% of
all traffic accidents in the state, making it the most accident-prone
state for bicyclists in the entire country. The South Carolina Division
of Motor Vehicles has taken note of these statistics and is working to
promote safety on the road and to encourage drivers of vehicles to share
the road with their fellow cyclist. Unfortunately, whether due to recklessness
or negligence, bicycle accidents still occur quite frequently.
Studies show that bicycle accidents involving vehicles are usually due
to one of several contributing factors. The most common causes of bicycle
- A driver's failure to notice the cyclist
- A driver's failure to yield the right of way
- Driving too close to the designated bike lane
- Immediately cutting off a cyclist at dangerous speeds.
Cyclists and motor vehicle drivers have a mutual responsibility to exercise
care when sharing the road with one another. It can be argued that people
driving motor vehicles have a greater duty to be careful because of how
vulnerable bicycles are on the open road.
Unsafe Road Design for Cyclists
While a majority of traffic accidents involving a bicycle and a vehicle
are due to the vehicle driver's failure to share the road with the
cyclist, bicycle accidents in South Carolina have been connected with
unsafe road signs concerning bike lanes. Some roads provide dangerous
conditions for cyclists. One example of this are intersections that include
a bike box for cyclists to move left into the designated area in front
of motor vehicles waiting to turn left at the intersection.
These boxes are dangerous because they encourage cyclists to cross on the
right side of traffic that may turn right at any moment. Furthermore,
bike boxes allow bicyclists to turn left, crossing other traffic with
little to no protection clearance. The design and use of bike boxes at
intersections have been deemed unsafe by the Manual on Uniform Traffic
Control Devices. If an accident occurs because of a bike box, it may warrant
grounds for filing a claim against the city for unsafe road design.
Another very common road condition that poses a threat to cyclists is the
absence of or insufficient bike lanes. Bike lanes are designated lanes
that run alongside traffic and try to offer protection to cyclists. The
danger arises when the bike lanes are not designed in a way that allows
for safe integration of traffic and bicycles at right turns. Cyclists
do not account for the possibility of cars merging into the bike lane
in order to turn right at an intersection, which can be dangerous. Some
states, such as California, have taken measures to make lanes safer by
either striping or dropping the bike lane within 200 feet of the intersection
to provide the cyclist with a timely warning of possible merging cars.
Sometimes, a car may parallel park on the road, obstructing the pathway
of a bike lane. This is either due to the bike lane being too close to
a legal parking area or in some cases the city has failed to account for
the possibility that a car may park in the middle of a bike lane. With
vehicles so close to the bike lane, drivers who fail to notice oncoming
cyclists from behind may open their door suddenly and cause the cyclist
to either have to swerve into traffic or crash into the door. Either way,
the cyclists stands to sustain
serious injuries if the roads are not safe and the drivers are not proceeding with caution.
We Will Fight for Your Rights and Your Compensation
McLeod Law Group, LLC, we firmly believe in the community's responsibility to provide for
safe biking. Cycling is a beloved recreation for many in Charleston due
to the area's landscape. We are passionate and motivated to represent
injured cyclists and their families both in court and in settlement meetings
in order to recover the compensation that is owed by those responsible
for the damage.
Mullins McLeod, our firm's founder and prominent Charleston personal injury attorney,
has been recognized in local and legal communities alike for his exceptional
ability to obtain settlements and verdicts for his injured clients. If
you or your loved one was injured or killed in a bicycle accident, attorney
McLeod and his skilled legal team would like to help ensure that you are
compensated for your losses.
Contact a Charleston bicycle accident lawyer from our firm today to learn more about our firm and how we can help you.