The whole situation made me angry. I was upset with myself for not getting his information and reporting him, but after a few conversations with other cyclists it sounded like it wouldn’t have resulted in anything anyway.
A few days later I saw a poster on Alexander Avenue and King Street requesting witnesses to step forward for an accident where a “red headed girl” on a bike got hit by a red car and had her collar bone broken — the driver had also left the scene without leaving information.
after a family member got in an accident and had to get involved in a claim with the bike accident lawyer philadelphia, I started to question my rights as a cyclist, so I made a few calls.
I contacted the Public Safety Building to speak with someone about bicycle laws. I was informed by a friendly voice that cyclists do not get an entire lane. Shocked to hear this, I asked how much space a car should give a bike when passing and following. She told me that was undetermined.
I told her about my specific situation, where I was on a one-lane street going straight and the car behind me wanted to turn right. She seemed just as puzzled as I was about how it would work in that situation.
Bicyclists are expected to follow the rules of motor vehicles but do not enjoy the same rights. There are no laws protecting you while you bike on the street; the advice I was given was to “be safe” and to “use bike paths” — oh right, because Winnipeg has a great bike path system!
So what should a cyclist do when involved in a collision? Both Public Safety and Manitoba Public Insurance told me upon contacting them that it is crucial to get the driver’s information and licence plate number. They also told me that getting witness information was very important and that an investigation probably wouldn’t even get started without it.
Cyclists are entitled to claims on injuries and damages to their bicycles, as are motorists on damages to their vehicles.
I asked Pubic Safety if, had there been no injuries or damages to the cyclist and their bike, the motorist would receive any sort of ticket for a traffic violation when at fault for hitting a cyclist — the answer was “no.”
At the end of the day, the motorist was at fault for passing me on the inside of the lane. If I had been injured or my bike was damaged I would have been compensated if I gathered the necessary information.
Still, my lack of rights left me uneasy, so I continued to read about bike safety online (biketothefuture.org is one great site if you are interested) and came to the conclusion that I will continue to take the full lane. It’s the place to be if you are worried about visibility, and it’s the least I can do if it is my responsibility and mine alone to be safe.