Late autumn is a popular time for bicyclists to enjoy Michigan’s vibrant colors and scenic roads before the freezing temperatures and snowy weather arrive. However, wet leaves, increased rain and earlier sunsets can be dangerous for the most experienced riders.
Here is an overview of the unique hazards bicyclists face during this picturesque season and how an experienced bicycle accident attorney can protect your rights if you are injured in a crash.
There are several factors that make autumn particularly dangerous for bicyclists and increase the risk of a serious accident.
As leaves decompose, they create a greasy film that becomes slippery, especially when mixed with frost or water. Riding over these leaves can cause a cyclist to lose traction and crash or skid off the road when applying the brakes.
In addition, when autumn leaves pile up on roadways or against curbs, they can obscure lane lines, including those designated for bicycles. Leaves may also block drains, causing puddles and slippery surfaces from accumulated rain.
Furthermore, fallen leaves can conceal potholes and other road hazards that could cause a cyclist to crash or fly off the bike.
Variable weather conditions can result in sudden rain showers, fog, or frost, all of which can significantly impact cycling conditions and increase the risk of accidents.
Strong winds often blow leaves, branches and other debris onto roads, creating hazards for drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists.
There are fewer hours of daylight in the fall, making it harder for cyclists to navigate, especially in poorly lit areas. Darkness during morning and evening rush hours also makes it difficult for drivers to see bicyclists who are sharing the road.
Disrupted sleep cycles caused by Daylight Saving Time:
Although there is only an hour difference, the twice-yearly time change affects sleep cycles and increases drowsiness for many people, including bicyclists and motorists.
Frost and ice on bridges and elevated roads:
When nighttime temperatures drop below freezing, frost and ice accumulates on roadways, especially elevated areas such as bridges and overpasses
Increased deer population:
In autumn there are more deer and other animals on Michigan roads and highways, especially during dusk and dawn, increasing the chances of wildlife-related accidents when an animal darts across the road.
Recommended reading: 10 Michigan Cycling Laws You Need To Know
Here are the most important takeaways from the latest crash data from Michigan State Police:
Recommended reading: Michigan E-bike laws
No-Fault coverage for injured bicyclists depends on the circumstances of the accident. Because a bicycle is not a motor vehicle, No-Fault benefits are typically available only when a car, truck or other motor vehicle is involved in the crash.
In that instance, the bicyclist may be eligible for No-Fault benefits under the policy covering the at-fault driver (or vehicle owner). In that case, reimbursement would be limited to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage specified in the policy.
However, if the bicyclist is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, a claim may be filed against the responsible party for medical and related expenses exceeding the limits of the No-Fault policy as well as intangible damages such as pain and suffering.
To ensure the best result, contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible, before talking to an insurance agent or signing any papers.
Recommended reading: New Michigan Passing Laws Make Roads Safer for Bicyclists
Visit the League of Michigan Bicyclists website for detailed information on current Michigan bicycle laws.
If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, we can help. Our knowledgeable legal team knows what it takes to win your case, and we have the expertise and resources to make sure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve.
In the event of a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, it’s crucial to understand your rights and options for seeking compensation. Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys will help you navigate the legal complexities, maximize your compensation, and provide the support you need to recover from your injuries.
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