Recent Spike in Cycling Deaths Prompts Calls for an Indiana “Safe Passing Law”
One of the unexpected effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been an increase in the number of cyclists taking to the road for transportation, recreation, and exercise. Cycling presents a healthy alternative to attending crowded (or closed) gyms, and is one of many individual activities that have become more popular in the age of social distancing. Along with the increase in cyclists on Indiana roads, traffic accidents involving bicycles and other vehicles have also increased, often with fatal consequences.
A recently published news report discusses the increase in cycling-related accidents and fatalities, and advocates for more legal protections for cyclists on the road. According to the report, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in the number of cyclists on the road nationwide. An increase in auto-bicycle accidents has also been noticed since the beginning of the pandemic. Drivers have a legal duty to yield the right of way to a bicyclist traveling on a public road or highway. If the driver of a motorized vehicle is unable to safely pass a cyclist, the driver must stay behind the cyclist until it is safe to do so. The vague nature of many laws that give cyclists the right of way can lead drivers to make dangerous decisions when encountering cyclists on the road.
Most states have specific laws known as “safe passing” laws that require drivers to maintain a safe distance while passing a cyclist, and also permit drivers to cross over a double yellow line to safely overtake a biker. Indiana is one of only six states without laws that specifically address passing a bicyclist. Although there is no safe passing law on the books in Indiana, drivers are still required to yield the right of way to a bicyclist traveling on a public roadway in the direction of traffic. If a bicyclist is struck by a driver and injured or killed, the driver may be responsible in civil or criminal court for the damages related to the accident.
An injured biker or their representative can pursue a personal injury claim against an at-fault driver who failed to yield the right of way to a cyclist and caused an injury as a result. Although safe passing laws make it easier for victims to pursue an injury claim, a skilled Indiana personal injury attorney can make a strong case for the driver’s negligence in order to obtain the financial compensation that an accident victim deserves.
Have You Suffered Injuries from a Cycling Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by another vehicle in an Indiana bicycle accident, contact a skilled personal injury attorney from Padove Law to pursue a claim for compensation for your injury or loss. Attorney Burton Padove is a dedicated Indiana accident attorney with decades of experience advocating for accident victims in the state. Padove Law accepts clients with personal injury claims involving Indiana bicycle crashes, car accidents, dangerous products, medical malpractice, and more. If you’ve been hurt, let us fight for the compensation that you deserve. Contact Padove Law at 877-446-5294 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.