Bike vs. Pedestrian Accidents: What’s the Difference?

 In Personal Injury

Bike and pedestrian accidents occur at a rapid rate within the United States. In fact, one crash-related pedestrian death occurred every 1.5 hours and in 2017 and 783 fatal accidents occurred involving cyclists. Although it’s common to consider bicycle and pedestrian accidents the same, they are actually quite different.

Bike vs. Pedestrian Accidents: What’s the Difference?

While there is the clear difference in who gets hurt when looking at a bicycle versus a pedestrian accident, the differences basically end there. The law treats these accidents the same: it’s important to determine fault and fully understand the extent of the accident and injuries sustained therein.

Understanding Bike & Pedestrian Laws in Minnesota

Regardless of their differences, both cyclists and pedestrians have specific guidelines they must follow according to Minnesota law and the Office of Traffic Safety.

For cyclists, the guidelines are as follows:

  • Cyclists are required to ride on the road and in the same direction as traffic at all times.
  • They must obey all traffic signs and signals, signal their turns and ride in a predictable manner.
  • When it’s dark, cyclists must use a headlight and proper rear reflectors for optimum visibility.

Pedestriansmust obey all traffic control devices such as crosswalk signs.

Minnesota also offers specific laws for motorists that include:

  • Maintaining a three-foot clearance when passing a cyclist
  • Stopping for pedestrians within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk

In Minnesota, personal injury claims involving pedestrians or cyclists are considered to be no-fault. This means, for instance, that cyclists can pursue compensation under their own auto insurance’s no-fault policy or under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

Bike or Pedestrian Accident? Here’s What You Should Do Next.

Have you been involved in a bike or pedestrian accident? It’s important to seek medical attention first and foremost. As your next step, consider reaching out to a professional personal injury attorney to help you get the assistance you deserve. To learn more about bike and pedestrian accidents, send us a message.

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