Cyclists Must Pedal Safely!

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Last fall, a student at the University of Delaware was struck by a bicyclist while attending a busy outdoor campus event. The collision caused the student to fall backwards and hit his head.  The resulting head injury has left him unconscious for several months. The family has filed suit against the University of Delaware alleging the student was injured because the school failed to create rules to keep bicycles off busy campus walkways.  The cyclist — also a student — is also a defendant in the case.

“Just as there are ‘Rules of the Road’ for cars to be careful around bikers, so too, there are rules for cyclists to safely maneuver around pedestrians,” notes Virginia bike safety lawyer Doug Landau.

Bikers from all over the world, like these bicycle tourists visiting Colonial Williamsburg, need to know the "rules of the road" in order to avoid injury.
Bikers from all over the world, like these bicycle tourists visiting Colonial Williamsburg, need to know the “rules of the road” in order to avoid injury.

It is important for bikers to know whether or not they are permitted to ride on the sidewalks or paths BEFORE they cause needless injury. Because pedestrians cannot hear a bicycle coming from behind, even where cycling is permitted with walkers and joggers, a safety bell is a good idea. Giving an audible warning in sufficient time to avoid a collision (or startling a pedestrian) is a common sense way to avoid causing unnecessary harm. Even a whistle can be an effective warning device when used properly. A cyclist need not “echo locate” by constantly blasting warnings, but should instead ride “defensively” just as one would behind the wheel of a car or truck.  Especially in this day and age of “distracted walking” with iPods, ear buds, texting, etc., giving other sensory warnings could be the difference between permanent disability and a “close call.”

If you or someone you know has been injured by the unsafe actions of another, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703)796-9555.