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Safe bicycle operation may not prevent all accidents


New Jersey has a reputation for being crowded, industrious and its residents always on the go. As a result, it's not surprising that many car accidents occur in the Garden State every year, including numerous tragic collisions between cars and bicycles. Especially in the summertime when the weather is more amenable to riding a bicycle, both drivers and cyclists need to stay safe and be aware of each other's rights to use the road.

According to New Jersey's Division of Highway Traffic Safety, there are many steps that can be taken to prevent these often catastrophic crashes. Unlike another vehicle, a bicycle has no external protection for its operator - consequently, even a car moving at a relatively slow speed can cause massive injury to someone on a bicycle should the two collide. An experienced auto accident injury lawyer can aid a person who has suddenly found themselves the victim of a bicycle or pedestrian car accident.

What some drivers may not realize is that cyclists in New Jersey actually have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle drivers. Cyclists must obey traffic laws, including traffic light signals, travel on the right and in the same direction as traffic, and not ride more than two abreast so long as these riders are not impeding traffic. Traveling on particularly busy streets, failing to properly maintain one's bike and even wearing overly-baggy clothing can inadvertently put a cyclist in harm's way, especially if local drivers do not obey the law. Even when a cyclist obeys all laws and takes all safety precautions, other drivers on the road may not realize the rights cyclists have, leading to accidents that can result in injury or possibly death.

No cyclist wants to get struck by a car, nor does any driver desire to become involved in a bicycle accident. Nevertheless, these types of wrecks happen all the time and can involve damaging injuries, huge medical bills, extensive property damage and even death. A skilled personal injury attorney can help with insurance problems after an incident, hit-and-run accidents, uninsured drivers and more.

Source: New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, "Bicycle Safety," accessed July 24, 2016

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