Bicycle Accidents

Burlington County Bicycle Accident Attorney

New Jersey is perfect for bicycling. Unfortunately when you are on a bike, accidents and injury go hand in hand. But did you also know that New Jersey bicyclists have the SAME RIGHTS as passenger vehicles? They have the same legal rights to use the road as motorists. Same roads, same rules, same rights and responsibilities.
Need Help With a Bicycle Accident Case?
For many non-cyclists, the perception is that cyclists take their lives into their hands on the streets — that in some sense they are “asking for it” by riding recklessly or by venturing onto the streets in the first place. This perception is simply untrue. In reality, most cyclists are extremely alert when riding on the city streets, and bicycle accidents are much less common than those involving pedestrians or motor vehicles.

Any cyclist knows that the main risks of bike accidents come from three sources: reckless, belligerent or blindsided motorists; swinging car doors, and jaywalking pedestrians. Cyclists must somehow be alert to these dangers while simultaneously keeping a close eye on the pavement for potholes, metal plates, and other ground-level hazards.

The sad truth is New Jersey has the 4th highest cycling fatality rate, based on population in the United States. Twenty-nine bicycle riders died in New Jersey last year. New Jersey also has the nation’s deadliest red-light runners, with three of the country’s worst cities for fatal intersection crashes, according to a study of federal transportation data obtained by USA TODAY…. New Jersey had by far the worst death rate among states, with 6.5 fatalities for every 100,000 people… New Jersey also had three of the four most dangerous cities for red-light fatalities.

Bicyclists have rights! When being passed the law requires that you are given AT LEAST THREE FEET of clearance, and FIVE FEET when passed by commercial trucks, semis, RV’s and buses. The wind pushed out from the side of these larger vehicles can cause a bicycle crash, and if there is room, they are required to give you, as the rider a FULL LANE of clearance.

Need Help With an Bicycle Accident Case?
Andy Clarke with the League of American Bicyclists and said the 2003 death of Brad Gorman, 26, led to this important law. He said Gorman’s family went on a mission to improve bicycle safety after Brad, who used his bike to get to work, was killed in a bicycle accident by an inattentive driver.

“They were the ones who got passed in the New Jersey Legislature the law that you have to give a safe passing distance of three feet or more when you pass a cyclist,” – Clarke said.

Cars driving recklessly can cause catastrophic and fatal bicycle accidents. Motor vehicle drivers are required by law to SLOW DOWN and pass cyclists carefully. Especially at railroad crossings and cattle guards, through construction zones and in poor weather conditions. Cyclists are allowed to move to the left briefly in order to safely cross railroad tracks. Cars are not allowed to use their horns when following a cyclist. If the sudden blast of a horn startles the cyclist and causes a bike crash the driver of the motor vehicle can be cited for causing the crash. To quote Andy Clarke with the League of American Bicyclists again talking about the fatal bike crash in Colorado of Bill Bliss:

“Bill was making a left turn on a highway in Colorado. he was doing everything right, following all the rules of the road — signaling, in the left lane — and a driver who was going too fast for the conditions and wasn’t paying attention hit and killed him,” Clarke said.

That person never meant for that to happen. But, at the same time, if you’re speeding, if you’re not paying attention, if you’re inattentive, if you’ve been drinking and driving, if you’re going too fast for the conditions, if you’re on your cell phone, if you’re simply not taking due care, I think we need to hold ourselves collectively more accountable for that.

“This is where we need a testimony from one of Costello’s previous bicycle cases.”
Bobby Shane, Automobile Accident Law Client

COSTELLO LAW FIRM

1213T High St. Burlington, NJ 08016 (609) 386-5400