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Ways to Avoid a Bicycle Accident In Milwaukee

April 19, 2018 |

In the state of Milwaukee, traveling by bicycle is a great option. It is good for the environment, helps you to save money and can greatly benefit your physical fitness and health in general. However, at the same time, there are certain risks to riding your bicycle on the road.

Every year, cyclists are involved in serious accidents with other vehicles that can leave them with devastating injuries. Although it’s impossible to avoid all accidents, you can minimize your risk of bicycle accidents.

Adhere to Milwaukee Bicycle Laws

Milwaukee law considers bicycles to be vehicles on roadways, just like cars and trucks. People in other vehicles are required to treat bicycles in the same manner as any other vehicle. Cyclists are also required to follow the rules of the road.

In many instances, cyclists fail to follow the rules of the road and sometimes are not even aware that they are required to do so. The following are laws related to riding bicycles in Milwaukee:

  • Helmets: Milwaukee doesn’t require people to wear helmets when riding a bicycle.
  • Riding on Sidewalks: It is prohibited to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk as per Milwaukee law. However, some cities and towns may allow bicycles on the sidewalk.
  • Riding in Crosswalks: In general, crosswalks are considered to be sidewalks, which means bicycles are not allowed there. Some local cities and towns have ordinances that allow bicycles in crosswalks.
  • Hand Signals: Cyclists are required by law to use hand signals for a left turn, right turn, stop and slow down.
  • Lights: Bicycles that are used after dark are required to have a light so that other vehicles and pedestrians can see them.

Obviously, a bicycle accident can still occur even if you follow all of the rules of the road. In addition, even if a cyclist doesn’t adhere to all of them and is ultimately injured in a bicycle accident, that doesn’t mean they won’t have a legitimate personal injury claim.

For instance, if you were on a bicycle and didn’t follow all of the rules of the road and were struck by a car whose driver was speeding, you might be found 50 percent responsible for the accident. This is known as shared fault.

In a personal injury case in this situation, the jury or judge would award the injured cyclist 50 percent of the compensation they were seeking. If the individual was seeking $10,000 in compensation but was found to be 50 percent at fault for the accident, they would be awarded $5,000 instead.

How to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

There are additional rules that apply to bicycle usage on Milwaukee roadways. These are suggested to prevent accidents.

  • Only operate a bicycle on the road.
  • Be aware of road obstructions like sewer gratings and potholes and ride around them.
  • Cars and other vehicles must allow for at least three feet of distance when passing a bicycle and even more distance when traveling at faster speeds.
  • Vehicles are required to change lanes when passing a bicycle in a narrow lane.
  • Bicyclists should always be predictable on the road.
  • Ride your bicycle at least three feet from the curb, debris and parked vehicles.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic.

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may want to file a personal injury claim to be compensated for your medical bills and damages. Get in touch with an experienced Milwaukee bicycle accident attorney at your earliest convenience.

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