Motorists and Cyclists – Road Safety Tips from Lawyers
More and more people are trading in their cars and opting to go green. Whether it is for environmental reasons, exercise, or pure enjoyment, biking is a great mode of transportation and fantastic way to keep active. However, cyclists have to take extra care as they are at a severe disadvantage if a collision occurs with a motorist.
Road Safety Requirements
Road safety requires both motorists and cyclists to be vigilant and obey the rules of the road to avoid accidents. When cyclists and motorists work together, the chance of a collision is greatly reduced. The Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act makes it clear that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists in order to prevent accidents. Motorists must be aware of cyclists and share the road. For their safety, cyclists are required to wear a bicycle helmet with the chin strap securely fastened. The rules of the road dictate that when passing a cyclist, a motor vehicle must leave at least one metre of space to safely pass. Unfortunately, motorists don’t always follow these rules of the road.
At the Scene of the Crash
If you have been involved in a collision with a motor vehicle here is a helpful checklist:
- Call the police
- Seek medical attention
- Stay at the scene and make sure other parties involved due the same if possible
- Ask any witnesses to stay until the police arrive
- Take pictures of the damage and your injuries if possible
- Collect the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of the motorist
No Fault Mandatory Benefits/Section B of Insurance
If you are a cyclist that is injured in a motor vehicle cyclist collision you are entitled to no-fault accident benefits through the insurance on the vehicle that collided with you. If the vehicle that hit you is not insured, then you can utilize the accident benefits through the policy on your own motor vehicle.
These benefits include medical benefits for services required due to a collision such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, assistive devices and medication; a wage loss component for time missed from employment; and travel expenses. These benefits are to last for 4 years from the date of the collision or to a maximum amount of $50,000 in medical coverage.
Accident Benefits may also provide a partial wage indemnity payment if you are placed off work for at least 7 days in the first 30 days after the collision by a physician. This wage indemnity pays to a maximum of $250 per week and is often paid in conjunction with Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits or a Long-Term Disability policy.
Uninsured or Unknown Motorists
If you are hit by an uninsured or unknown motorist (often a hit and run situation) and have your own motor vehicle policy, your own insurer will stand in place of the motorist when you are seeking compensation. This is known as the Section D part of your motor vehicle policy.
If you are hit by an uninsured or unknown motorist and you do not have your own motor vehicle policy, then Nova Scotia’s Facility Association will stand in place of the motorist when you are seeking compensation.
Both Section D of your motor vehicle policy and the Nova Scotia Facility Association have unique rules and caveats when seeking compensation.
If you have been hit by a vehicle while biking, there may be insurance benefits available to you. One of our motor vehicle accident lawyers would be happy to speak with you if you have any questions. Contact us for your free consultation.