Thousands of residents in Las Vegas use bicycles as their main form of transportation. The mild climate allows cyclists to stay on the road all year round, and the city has contributed to Las Vegas' bike-friendly reputation by creating over 400 miles of bike lanes and paths within the city limits. Unfortunately, every year cyclists are killed by cars and trucks in Nevada, and most often in Las Vegas. As a city of over half a million and growing, more and more cars appear on the road every day, and tourists who are enamored with the city may fail to notice cyclists on the road around them.
The Nevada Department of Transportation published a study in 2010 which reported that there were 583 crashes involving bicyclists in the state of Nevada and six deaths. The number of deaths per year has fluctuated since then, and the city has taken steps to improve bicycle safety, but news reports of tragic accidents and bicycle deaths are still common.
Injuries from Cycling Accidents
Unlike car accidents, there is no protection for cyclists from the full force of a car that strikes them. Because of this vulnerability, even low-speed accidents can result in severe injuries and a long recovery time. The most common injuries in cycling accidents include bone fractures, head, neck, and spinal injuries, nerve damage, and joint dislocation. Head and brain injuries are common because cyclists are often thrown over the handlebars of their bikes, landing on their head.
Both bikes and cars contribute to cycling accidents. Automobile and truck drivers should always give the right of way to cyclists, but may make some of the following common mistakes:
- Forget to check their blind spot for bicycles before merging
- Turn right directly in front of cyclists
- Run stop signs
- Open doors of parked cars without checking for bicycles
- Fail to stop at pedestrian crossings
- Pull out quickly from driveways or parking lots without ensuring a clear bike lane
- Drive too close to cyclists when passing them on the left. In Nevada, vehicles are legally required to give cyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing or move into the left lane when possible.
Cyclists, for their part, are also required to follow laws in Nevada to keep themselves and drivers safe. To remain safe, cyclists should:
- Signal to drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists using arms whenever possible.
- When riding between dusk and dawn, use a white light in front that is visible from 500 feet away, and a red taillight which is visible from 300 feet away.
- Although not legally required in Nevada, wear a helmet. 9 out of 10 cyclists killed by cars are not wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
- Ride as close to the right side of the road as is practical.
- Avoid obstructing your view by carrying bulky objects on the handlebars of your bike.
- Follow all other traffic laws.
Representation for Las Vegas Cycling Accident Victims
If you have been injured in a cycling accident, you are most likely dealing with multiple issues, from medical bills and time off of work to pain and physical therapy. To speak with an attorney today about compensation for your injuries, call The Jacks Law Group today. This Las Vegas law firm can be reached at (702) 834-6300 or online.