A student attending Georgia Military College was killed when he struck a Georgia College and State University Bus while riding his bicycle. Logan Jones, 21, of Milledgeville, was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk next to the street. The bus was traveling the same direction as Jones. The bus made a right turn onto another street at the intersection, but Jones failed to stop his bicycle and struck the bus. He fell from the bicycle and was struck by the back tires of the bus.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while fewer bicyclists die each year than motorists, there are still hundreds of bike accident fatalities each year. In 2015, there were 818 people who died in collisions between bicycles and a motor vehicles. One of the most common types of accidents is the kind that killed Jones – the right-hook accident.
The Right-Hook Bicycle Accident
Accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles are particularly dangerous because cars are heavier, but also because bicyclists do not have the same protections that a person riding inside a vehicle has. Although a right-hook accident is not the only type of bicycle accident, they are common and occur when a car and cyclist are traveling the same direction, with the vehicle traveling in a lane to the left of the cyclist. When the vehicle makes a right turn, the cyclist, in many cases, will strike the right side of the vehicle.
One of the main reasons for right-hook accidents is that people driving a motor vehicle often mistakenly believe that a bicyclist is traveling much more slowly than he or she really is. Consequently, the driver will overestimate how much time he or she has to make the right turn. Another issue is that drivers of motor vehicles often fail to see a bicyclist among the other traffic and never even realize that they need to be on the lookout for a cyclist when they make the right turn.
Who is Liable for a Right-Hook Bicycle Accident?
In many states, including Georgia, bicycles are considered vehicles, which makes the bicyclist a driver. This means that the driver of the motor vehicle and the driver of the bicycle are subject to the same laws, including riding on the right side of the street, following signs and traffic signals, and in the case of a right-hook accident, giving adequate right-of-way. In many situations, a right-hook bicycle accident will be considered a violation of the cyclist’s right-of-way because the driver appeared to have cut off the cyclist. This means that as long as the cyclist was obeying the laws of the road, the driver of the vehicle will likely be found liable for the accident.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law can help you ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.