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Fatal Crash Reinforces Bicycle Accident Problem in Lancaster

In August, a man riding in a Lancaster bicycle lane was struck and killed by a driver. According to reports, the man was traveling westbound in a bike lane on Avenue K in Lancaster when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle. The vehicle reportedly swerved to its right and made direct contact with the rider. The rider was transported to the hospital but died from his injuries. Police are still searching for witnesses who can help them to identify the hit and run driver.

Lancaster Bike Accidents on the Rise

Historically speaking, Lancaster has been a moderately safe city for bicyclists when compared to other cities of similar size and population. However, the number of fatal and injury-causing accidents in the city has been on the rise.

In 2010, there were 25 reported bike accidents in Lancaster. In 2013, there were 33 bicycle accidents in the city.  By 2015, the number of serious accidents causing injury or death in Lancaster has surged to 58. That’s nearly a 210 percent increase in just six years. The most recent accident statistics tend to indicate that the city’s bike accident problem is not going away any time soon.

City Efforts to Increase Bicycle Safety

The city of Lancaster is well aware of its bicycle accident problem. As the number of bicyclists in the city increase, so do the number of accidents. The city has taken steps to make its roads safer for riders who choose alternative modes of transportation. Lancaster has unveiled and begun to implement its Master Plan of Trails and Bikeways. The Master Plan is intended to “guide the development of a pleasant, safe, and convenient non-motorized transportation network that everyone in Lancaster can use.” The Master Plan calls for new and improved bicycle lanes, dedicated bicycle lanes, bicycle-related signage and traffic signals, and the installation of additional bike racks. These are all features that have been proven to increase rider safety and decrease fatal accidents across the country.

How to Stay Safe While Riding a Bike in Lancaster

Even though the city of Lancaster is taking steps to protect bicyclists, accidents can still happen. It’s important for everyone on the road, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers, to use caution when sharing the road. Safe riding habits can decrease the likelihood of a serious accident.

Here’s how to stay safe while riding a bike in Lancaster:

  • Use dedicated bicycle lanes, whenever available
  • Ride with the flow of traffic
  • Use hand signals to let others know when you want to turn
  • Install legally-required reflectors and lights on your bike
  • Wear reflective safety gear, especially when riding at night
  • Avoid wearing headphones
  • Ride cautiously and assume that drivers do not see you
  • Ride with both hands on the handles
  • Do not overload the bike with heavy bags or objects
  • Use extreme caution when passing through an intersection, and
  • Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Lancaster Bike Accident?

Accidents can happen even if you exercise caution and follow the rules of the road. It’s important to know that the things you do immediately after your accident can affect any future legal claims you decide to file. Keep these suggestions in mind if you are involved in a Lancaster bicycle accident.

  1. Get Help: Seek medical attention as soon as you can, even if you don’t think you’ve sustained serious injuries. Some injuries can take hours, days, or weeks to manifest. If they’re not treated right away they could become life-threatening. Getting a medical evaluation after your accident will help to ensure that all of your injuries are diagnosed and treated.
  2. Report the Crash: You’ll want to report the accident to the police right away. An officer will arrive on the scene and complete an accident report. This report will contain important details that could affect your case.
  3. Notify the Driver’s Insurance Company: If you were injured by a driver you should notify their insurance company. Some companies require you to report the accident within 48-72 hours. Failing to report the crash and file a claim could prevent you from recovering compensation.
  4. Refuse Early Offers: Insurance companies may be quick to offer you a settlement for your injuries. However, early offers are typically only made to make a case go away for much less than what it is worth. Refuse early offers and take the time to consult with an attorney.
  5. Gather Evidence: Begin to collect evidence to support any legal claim that you may decide to pursue. Take photographs of your injuries and bike, as well as the scene of the accident. Pick up a copy of the police report and any medical reports from your visit to the hospital.
  6. Contact an Attorney: Hiring an attorney will give you time to get better and help you maximize your financial recovery. Your attorney will fight to make sure that you get the money you deserve.

Are you struggling with an injury after a Lancaster accident? Do you want to learn about your legal rights and options? Contact Joshua W. Glotzer, APC to speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today.

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