Roadways throughout the country are protected by laws and safety regulations for motor vehicles. Because cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles are some of the most commonly used transportation methods, these regulations are necessary to keep travelers safe. Unfortunately, the same level of regulation does not always exist for less-common methods of transportation. Specifically, bicyclists are not always provided with guidelines on where they may and may not operate.
A recent lawsuit filed in Delaware Superior court involves a pedestrian accident in which a bicyclist was traveling on a pedestrian path. At the time of the accident, the University of Delaware was hosting an event, causing higher traffic than usual. The lawsuit claims negligence by the university due to a lack of rules keeping bicycles off pedestrian sidewalks throughout campus. The victim remains hospitalized at this time, and while the defendant in the suit is listed as the bicyclists, a majority of the lawsuit concentrates on the school’s alleged neglect. The city where the crash occurred, like many cities throughout the country, has regulations in place to prevent bicyclists from traveling on specific pedestrian sidewalks. Unfortunately, the university has not gone so far as to do the same.
This lawsuit, while still ongoing, raises the question of fault in situations like this. It also causes us to take a closer look at local college campuses and their bicycle regulations. While it may not seem overly dangerous to be struck by a bike, these devices are able to travel at fairly significant speeds. When a collision between a fast-moving bicycle and a stationary or slowly moving pedestrian occurs, it can be extremely dangerous. Common injuries include bruising, lacerations, broken bones, and even head trauma in the event of a fall. While we are passionate about keeping roadways safe, it is also important to keep lesser-traveled transportation pathways safe.