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Should drivers exercise a duty of care around bike-riding kids?

Although all motorists are expected to be careful when driving their cars near motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists, there are some who aren't. Their failure to exercise this duty of care results in thousands of individuals being struck by vehicles each year. The large majority of bicyclists that are hit by motorists are children.

In order for a plaintiff to be successful in filing a personal injury lawsuit against a motorist, they must be able to prove that the driver's own negligence at least partially resulted in the crash.

When a driver operates a vehicle around adults, their duty to exercise reasonable care is lower than it is when they're driving around children. While they're obligated to drive safely around everyone, drivers are supposed to be able to count on adults to be more careful than children when they ride bicycles.

While a motorist should expect for a child to attempt to cross the street without first looking in both directions, they shouldn't anticipate an adult doing the same. Any motorist driving in an area where children are present, e.g., residential areas, near parks or in school zones, should pay closer attention and use increased care when navigating. You should also be prepared to suddenly turn or stop.

It's important that victims don't jump to the conclusion that a motorist was negligent simply because they collided with a child out riding their bike. It is possible for a motorist to exercise an abundance of caution and still strike a bicyclist. It's also possible for both the motorist and the bike rider to have both contributed in their own ways to causing a crash. An attorney can help you sort out liability in a bicycle accident case.

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