Bicycle Versus Vehicle Collision
Whether riding for fun, exercising, or to save on gas, bicycling is becoming more common. And in South Dakota, bicyclists and automobiles have to share the road and follow the law. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. When a vehicle hits a bicycle, the injuries for the bike rider can be catastrophic. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile versus bicycle crash, there are several things you should immediately do. First, get medical attention if you need it and contact law enforcement. Second, you should share the contact information with the driver, including the driver’s automobile insurance information. At some point, you should also talk to an attorney to discuss your situation, especially if the driver’s insurance company wants to talk to you directly because South Dakota has specific laws pertaining to bicyclists.
For example, South Dakota Codified Law § 32-26-26.1 states that drivers operating a motor vehicle must allow a minimum of three feet of separation when passing a bicycle if the speed limit is 35 mph or less. If the speed limit is over 35 mph, the driver must provide at least six feet of separation. Under South Dakota Codified Law § 32-20B-2, bicyclists are required to “stop before entering a crosswalk or highway from a sidewalk or sidewalk area.” These are only a few of the many specific laws in place for bicycling in South Dakota.
Moreover, even though bicycles are not considered automobiles, if you are injured because of the negligence of an uninsured motorist, or if your injuries exceed the amount of the negligent motorist’s insurance coverage, your own automobile insurance policy may apply. Simply put, while riding a bicycle may be easy, handling a bicycle crash is not.
If you have questions about what to do after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, you can contact us. Our dedicated attorneys will talk with you to see if we can assist with your claim.