Despite safety improvements, bicycle accidents are common in Oklahoma City
According to Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2012, 726 lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes nationally, just under two people every day of the year in the U.S. The death rate from bicycle crashes is high due to the relative lack of protection bicyclists have in an impact with a motor vehicle.
Bicycling Laws in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City traffic-safety laws are designed to allow bicyclists to share the road safely with motor vehicles in an increasingly crowded space.
According to the State of Oklahoma Department of Motor Vehicles:
- When bicycles are ridden with other traffic, cyclists must obey the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles.
- At intersections, motorists must yield to cyclists as they would for other vehicles and pedestrians.
- When passing a cyclist, motorists must move into an adjacent lane to the left if possible. If not, the motorist must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance.
- Motorists must yield the right-of-way to a cyclist on a bicycle path or in a bike lane.
- Motorists may not stop, park or drive on a designated bicycle path or lane unless they are entering or leaving an alley or driveway, performing official duties, directed by a police officer, or in an emergency situation.
- A cyclist is required to ride on the right side of the roadway.
- A bicycle must be equipped with a white lamp in the front, visible from at least 500 feet.
Get information on bicycle crashes from the Police Departments in the Oklahoma City region
Oklahoma City bicycle crashes have common causes and deadly outcomes
While helmets and proper reflective gear make bicycling safer, riding a bicycle is riskier than driving a car. Maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels, and when collisions happen, bicyclists are at greater risk of serious injury or death because they don't have an enclosed vehicle for protection.
Common causes of bicycle crashes include:
- Motorist turning across path of cyclist;
- Cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle;
- Cyclist turning right from a major road and from a minor road;
- Child cyclist playing or riding too fast.
When someone is injured in a Oklahoma City bicycle accident, what needs to happen next?
In an injury bike crash, it is crucial to get appropriate medical treatment, regardless of the financial cost. The major hospitals in the area include:
- Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City;
- OU Medicine;
- The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center;
- Integris Baptist Medical Center.
As soon as possible, an injured person should contact their insurance company to find out how medical treatment is covered under their insurance policy. Since insurance policies often have unique provisions to deal with bicycle-accident injuries, it is important to review the policy and speak with the insurance adjuster to get clarification on coverage.
When a bicycle collision is serious or fatal, it is important to find a Oklahoma City bike accident attorney
When a bicycle accident, caused by the negligence of a motorist, results in serious injury or death, the next step is to find an experienced Oklahoma City bicycle accident attorney to start the financial recovery process by launching an insurance claim. Major injury or wrongful death claims are complicated and can be hard to manage without legal help. Having a personal injury lawyer on board is a great relief to injured bicyclists, or to the family left behind when an accident proves fatal.
Since most personal injury lawyers offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis, meaning that there are no up-front costs and all fees are paid when the claim is settled, there is no downside to speaking with an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer right away, to get help for an injured bicyclist.