Bicycle accidents can involve children and other vehicles. Drivers must be more cautious when transporting children on bicycles. Drivers must always exercise reasonable care when driving on roads. Children, especially young children, require drivers to show more care. Children are also held to lower standards in regards to the level of care they can show when riding bicycles.
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Drivers have a greater responsibility to care for children.
Bicycle accident cases that involve adult or child bicyclists often hinge on the driver’s negligence and the cause of the accident. The driver must use reasonable care under the circumstances, regardless of whether the cyclist was an adult or a child.
Children require more care and caution than usual. Drivers should be aware that children may suddenly cross the road or become scared if they approach too quickly.
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Drivers who know or should reasonably expect children to be present must show more care. This is sometimes known as “unusual care”. Drivers who see children riding bikes or driving through areas that are frequented often by children must be more attentive and prepared to stop or turn abruptly. Drivers should be more vigilant when driving around schools, parks and bus stops, residential neighborhoods, trailer park areas, and other places that children are likely to be.
However, drivers shouldn’t be considered negligent if they collide with children riding on bikes. If the driver took every precaution possible but could not avoid an accident, they may have fulfilled the higher duty of care. In these cases, negligence should not be considered.
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Bicycle accidents: Children and contributing negligence
Bicyclists are often blamed for the accident by their negligence. Children riding bicycles are often held to a lower standard than drivers who have children.
The laws of each state vary in how children can be held responsible for causing accidents. Most jurisdictions believe that very young children, often up to age 4, are not capable of contributing negligence. This is because they are unable to exercise care for their safety and that of others. This is true even in child bicycle accident cases. A driver who was found negligent cannot argue that the child contributed to the accident.
Many states assume that the child cannot contribute to negligence between the “tender years”, and the early teenage years, which is often from 4-14 years. The court can apply a standard for conduct that is reasonable to expect from children similar in intelligence, age and experience, even if a child is able to commit negligence.
An attorney can help determine liability in a bicycle accident claim
Bicycling accidents involving children can prove to be extremely dangerous. You may be concerned about your child’s safety, and you want to learn your legal options. It may be in your best interest to contact an experienced injury lawyer in your local area if your child is struck by a car while riding on a bicycle.