Bicyclists in Lexington have always had to pay extra attention to motorists who may not be paying attention to them. Busy Lexington traffic can show little care towards riders, even though the law grants bicyclists as much right to the lanes as any vehicle.
Now residential traffic has merged with a stream of rideshare drivers for an increased level of risk for cyclists. Rideshare workers for Lyft or Uber and other companies do more than drive. They work from behind the wheel. And that can leave them breaking distracted driving laws while defenseless bicycle riders are nearby and vulnerable to their carelessness.
Lexington Rideshare Bike Accident Threats
Cyclists in Lexington have a few places to ride that provide them with safe journeys far from vehicle traffic. Those greenways will eventually include bike paths and other amenities for cyclists at the Coldstream Research Park development discussed in budget announcements in June of 2021.
Yet, many riders must still challenge the rush of traffic to get to work or class, or just find a decent route to burn calories. Those rides are especially hairy when unfocused drivers don’t check every mirror and windshield for cyclists when they travel. The temptation to focus on a cellphone or a passenger is especially strong for rideshare employees.
Uber or Lyft drivers must focus on many different things as they log into their apps. Here’s just a short list of distractions they face and the dangers they pose to anyone on a bike:
- Cellphone Distraction – Aside from a car, the Lyft or Uber app is the most valuable tool drivers have. They can’t find a customer or get paid unless they use it on every ride. They must tap it when notifications come up and glance at that screen several times to locate hard-to-find alleys and streets. You can imagine how many times drivers’ eyes are off the road and how many cyclists they pass without even registering the danger.
- Reckless driving – Drivers also feel the need to cut down on passenger wait times and ride times by taking a few chances sometimes. Their speeds and their aggressive driving are true hazards for cyclists who travel with no protection from a moving vehicle and the impacts they cause.
- Dooring Accidents – Cyclists often travel at the right-most part of the lane, near parked cars, and run the risk of someone opening a door in front of them and creating a solid obstacle and a dangerous collision. Lyft drivers can pull over to let oblivious passengers out and without thinking they can open a door directly in the path of someone on a bike. That metal door can cause severe injuries for a cyclist.
- Cruising – The frantic rush to pick up a passenger is bad enough, but Uber drivers are often on the roads without a customer lined up. They often cruise or “deadhead” in busy sections of Lexington so they are closer to potential customers. It’s just more traffic for riders to contend with.
- Driver Physical and Mental State – We can all be a bit frazzled by life as we drive around, but rideshare drivers must deal with emotional trauma while behind the wheel and on the clock. A fight at home or a brush with an argumentative customer can preoccupy a worker and leave them unfocused on the lanes in front of them.
Do Rideshares Offer Insurance Coverage to Bicycle Accident Victims?
Most rideshare companies usually try to send you to their driver’s personal insurance coverage after a cyclist has been injured. If the driver’s insurance provider won’t cover your bicycle accident or doesn’t provide enough to cover all of your medical bills, you can then petition Uber or Lyft for help.
Uber and Lyft both maintain a million-dollar policy for victims, but the policy only applies during certain phases of a driver’s shift. What’s more, in some cases you can get stuck having to call upon the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy.
With so many insurance policies in play, injured cyclists should rely on legal experts to make sure they get what they need in compensation to cover every bill and lost paycheck during recovery.
Contact a Lexington Bicycle Accident Lawyer
To find out more about your legal rights and options after you’ve been struck by a rideshare driver, consult a qualified Personal Injury Lawyer who works to protect injured bicyclists. Cyclists should receive the best care and support so they can, one day, get back on their bikes again. And they should never have to pay for that care out of their own pockets.
To discuss your case in a free consultation contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today.