Whether for commuting to work or school, exercising or just for fun, bicycles are a popular mode of transportation. Increasing numbers of cyclists mean an increase in potential accidents.
Collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles often occur in urban areas, especially when there are no bike lanes present. However, any road can pose a hazard if proper precautions are not taken.
South Carolina law imposes duties on and allows rights to all cyclists. This means that riders have the responsibility to obey specific traffic laws, like riding near the right side of the street and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles. This also means they have legal protection should an accident occur.
Other laws specifically for bike riders include using the correct hand signals for turning, stopping, and slowing, as well as keeping one hand on the handlebars at all times.
Because bicycles are essentially considered vehicles and riders must obey applicable traffic laws, finding fault in these accident cases is similar to a collision between two motor vehicles. The court will review evidence in order to determine who caused the accident.
South Carolina uses comparative negligence when determining liability and deciding how to award damages. Generally, if both parties are at fault, it is still possible to receive compensation. The percentage of responsibility each party holds for the accident determines the amount awarded.
Using a bicycle is a cost-effective and healthy mode of transportation for many people. Sharing the road means all motorists should obey traffic laws and travel safely.