Anyone who has taken to the streets in Houston on a bike, whether for commuting or recreation, knows that drivers don’t feel like cyclists have a right to be sharing the road. In fact, many drivers can’t be bothered to leave a clearance of three feet or further when passing a bike, as Texas law requires, and some pass so close they actually force the cyclist off the road. Others run red lights or turn left without even looking for a cyclist riding in the opposite direction. And many others use bicycle lanes as if they were meant for cars.
These risky driving behaviors place a bicycle rider at risk of losing life or limb. But what Texas drivers should know is that bicycles have every bit as much right to be on the road as a car, truck, or motorcycle. It is the driver’s responsibility to drive with sufficient care to safeguard a cyclist’s life. Nevertheless, inappropriate driver attitudes continue to rob people of life and health on Texas roads.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, motor vehicles collided with people on bikes or on foot approximately 940 times in Houston in 2014. This is a 63 percent increase from the 574 accidents recorded in 2010. Clearly, the majority of these accidents are serious, and understandably so, considering that the cyclist has absolutely no protection from a car weighing several thousand pounds. Brain damage, spinal cord injury, paralysis, amputations, and death can result.
Driver negligence is often the cause of bike accident injuries and wrongful death. Some acts that constitute negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Running stop signs or red lights
- Encroaching on bike lanes
- Making careless turns and lane changes without signaling
- Not respecting the cyclist’s right of way
- Failing to leave 3 feet between the car and the bike when passing
What Are A Bicyclist’s Legal Options?
When you’ve been injured or a family member has been killed while riding a bicycle, you have the right to pursue a claim to recover your damage. This includes the economic losses — such as lost income, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and others that come with a price tag — and non-economic damage that are harder to quantify but usually more devastating than the financial ones: pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and others.
For the best chance of succeeding in getting a recovery sufficient to cover all of your damages, it is in your best interest to find a good Houston bicycle accident lawyer, such as the attorneys at the Houston personal injury law firm of de Lachica Law Firm. With an enviable track record of millions of dollars in recoveries, Erica de Lachica has the skills, experience, and passion for justice that make her the ideal choice to represent you in your Texas bicycle accident.
At de Lachica Law Firm, you can come in for a free consultation to learn about your legal options. If you’re having trouble making ends meet, let us know. We may be able to help with an interest-free loan until your case settles. Don’t wait too long to talk to us, or you could lose your right to a recovery. Texas imposes time limits on filing a claim, so contact us today. Hablamos Espanol.