Although bicycle commutes account for only 1% of all trips in the U.S., bicyclists are at a greater risk of sustaining a crash-related injury than motor vehicle occupants. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 467,000 cyclists were injured and another 818 were killed in bicycle accidents in 2015. With such unfavorable accident injury statistics, it’s essential that bicyclists are aware of their rights and duties when sharing the road with motor vehicles.
Rights and Duties of Bicyclists in Southwest Kansas
There aren’t any federal statutes that govern over bicycling, allowing states the freedom to implement their own. Kansas, in particular, does not have a helmet law for bicyclists. Neither is there a requirement for them to ride in designated lanes or on the sidewalk. Bicycles are also not legally recognized as vehicles in Kansas; however, cyclists have all of the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle K.S.A. §8-126; 8-1587. A few other notable laws regarding bicyclists in Kansas include:
- Drivers of motor vehicles must pass bicyclists on the left, keep a distance of at least three feet, and not return to the right until safely clear of the bicyclist – K.S.A. §8-1516(c)
- Bicyclists traveling slower than the speed of traffic must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand side of the road except in specified conditions – K.S.A. §8-1590
- Motor vehicle occupants may not open a door on a side available to moving traffic until it is safe to do so or leave the door open longer than necessary to load or unload passengers – K.S.A – §8-1577
- Bicyclists shall use a designated path adjacent to the roadway when one is provided and shall not use the roadway – K.S.A. §8-1590(d)
These laws are not only in place to clarify the relationship between bicyclists and motor vehicles but more so to keep cyclists safe when sharing the road with motor vehicles.
Pursuing Compensation for Bicycle Accident Damages
Statistics show the noticeably high frequency with which bicyclists sustain injuries as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle. In such cases bicyclists have a right to pursue compensation. The most immediate damages in a bicycle accident are bodily injuries and property damage, but with legal help, you can learn of the numerous others including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical equipment, and much more.
Joseph T. Welsh is a zealous Southwest Kansas bicycle accident lawyer who understands the severity of being involved in such a damaging accident. Your injuries are likely to be extensive, and your need for immediate financial compensation is made evident through the piling accident-related expenses. Joe can analyze accident details, implement his knowledge of personal injury law, and negotiate just compensation that accurately covers all accident-related damages. Contact Joe today at (620) 510-5030 for a free case evaluation.