People are more active during the summer months, and there are more cyclists on New Jersey roadways during the summer. Unfortunately, car-bicycle accidents also occur more in the summer. The injuries sustained by NJ bicyclists are also more serious than the injuries sustained by drivers/passengers involved in car-bicycle accidents. Cyclists do no have the “protection” of cars to absorb initial impacts when they are hit by cars. Their bodies come directly in contact with the cars or trucks, and serious injuries may result in some of the following:
- leg fractures;
- arm fractures;
- hip fractures;
- internal bleeding; and/or
- mild or traumatic brain injuries.
Motor vehicle-bike accidents often occur when cars or trucks are attempting to pass cyclists on the roadways. The cars or trucks are too close to the cyclists and hit them from behind or from the side.
NJ Law – Distance Between Motor Vehicles & Cyclists
This past May, the NJ legislature proposed two new laws pertaining to drivers and bicyclists which have been approved by the NJ Assembly Transportation Committee.
A1577 and A1600 require drivers to move over or slow down when approaching a bicyclist or a pedestrian. The proposed laws also require motorists operating vehicles to maintain a reasonable and safe distance when overtaking pedestrians and certain bicycles; drivers must keep a minimum of 4 feet away from the cyclists when attempting to pass bicyclists. Drivers who do not comply with the laws may be fined between $100-$500. In addition, drivers who hit bicyclists passing too closely could be fined up to $1000 for violating the proposed laws.
These 2 bills were recently approved by the state Assembly in June. Both bills would need to approved by the Senate and obtain the approval of Gov. Chris Christie to become law.
Everyone on NJ roadways must respect all other users on the roadways. Motor vehicle operators must respect cyclists and vice versa. The proposed laws will protect the most vulnerable users, i.e., cyclists, on NJ roadways.
Legal Options After Car-Bicycle Accidents in NJ
If NJ cyclists are hit by motor vehicles in Cherry Hill, Marlton or Camden and are injured as a result, they have legal rights. They may file personal injury lawsuits in NJ to recover their losses and damages, which may include:
- past and future medical expenses;
- past and future lost wages;
- out of pocket expenses; and/or
- pain and suffering.
If you were hit by a car, truck or a van while riding a bike, call Philip T. Ciprietti, Esq. to inquire about your legal rights. Mr. Ciprietti is a NJ personal injury lawyer who has helped victims of motor vehicle accidents in NJ. Call to schedule a FREE consultation. 800-281-8695
*Source: www.nj.com (Move over? NJ Assembly passes bill to require 4 foot buffer between drivers, cyclists)