Charlotte’s beautiful scenery makes biking around the city quite an experience. However, bicyclists in North Carolina are subject to various outdated policies concerning their rights and liabilities on the roads. These laws, combined with an increasing urban population, has made commuting more difficult for bicyclists. The increased number of motorists on the road has made it easier to be a victim of biking accident. If you or a family member has suffered an injury while bicycling, you should consult with an experienced Charlotte bicycle accident lawyer.
The injury attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. are prepared to handle your bike accident case. Our legal team has over three decades of experience in personal injury cases that we will use to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you wish to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated lawyers, call us today at (704) 377-3737 or contact us online.
NC Bicycle Accident Laws
North Carolina law defines a bicycle as a vehicle. North Carolina General Statute § 20-4.01 explains that bicycles are deemed as vehicles and every rider of a bicycle on a highway is subject to the same laws as the driver of a vehicle. As a result of this law, cyclists in North Carolina cannot:
- Operate their bicycle while intoxicated or drugged
- Ride through a red light
- Ride towards oncoming traffic
Additionally, there are other laws in North Carolina that require certain actions from cyclists. For example, a biker who rides at night must have a white light on the front of their bicycle and a red reflector or light on the back of the bike. An adult cyclist who is riding during daylight hours does not require any forms of equipment beyond the bike. However, any child under the age of 16 is required to wear a helmet while riding a bike.
With that said, there are certain actions that bike riders are permitted to do that drivers of vehicles are not. A cyclist can use their best judgment to decide when it is too dangerous to ride on a road and can instead choose to ride on a sidewalk. Cyclists in North Carolina are also not restricted to the bike lane and may use a full lane if they do not hinder traffic.
There are various other laws about cycling that a rider should be aware of, like knowing when they are able to safely overtake another motorist or roads which are off-limits to cyclists. Knowledge of these laws will aid you if you should unfortunately become the victim of a biking collision.
NC Bike Crash Statistics
North Carolina is one of the least safe states in the U.S. for cyclists. About 850 cyclists are struck by vehicles in North Carolina each year and about 20 cyclists are killed per year. In 2011, North Carolina ranked tenth in deaths per million, at 2.59. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as of 2015, North Carolina has only improved to become the fourteenth worst state for bicyclists.
Bicycling accidents in North Carolina typically occur within certain demographics. For example, according to North Carolina bike accident statistics:
- Over 50% of all bike crashes involved bicyclists under the age of 30 and over 20% of crashes involved drivers younger than 30.
- Male cyclists were involved in over 80% of all bike crashes and the genders of drivers were divided almost evenly.
It is also important to note that more than half of all bike crashes, 55% to be exact, occur from May through September. A total of 78% of these bike crashes typically occur on weekdays, between the hours of 3 and 6 P.M.
Who is Liable in a Biking Crash?
Determining who is at fault for your biking crash is important if you wish to file a personal injury claim. Bicycle crashes can occur for several different reasons, such as:
- Negligent drivers
- Unsafe roadways due to poor maintenance by a government entity
- Negligent manufacturers or retailers of defective bicycles, defective bicycle components, defective bike accessories, or defective safety equipment for bikers
- Hazardous conditions on a public property or private property due to poor upkeep of the property or construction
This is not a comprehensive guide discussing bike accidents. If you require more information to file your bicycle crash case, you should speak with a bike accident attorney right away.
Charlotte, NC Bike Accident Attorneys Can Help You File Your Claim
If you or a family member was the victim of a bike accident in North Carolina, you should take your case to a Charlotte bicycle crash lawyer. The attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the quality legal representation you deserve. Our injury attorneys have represented clients in Charlotte and across North Carolina and would be proud to represent you. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim, contact us at (704) 377-3737.