Robert T. Lynch, P.E., Principal Collision Reconstruction Engineer
An adult bicyclist was traveling at night on the left side of a 40-mile-per-hour, two-lane roadway with little to no shoulder when he was struck by the passenger side mirror of a passing vehicle. The bicyclist sustained an injury to his right arm. An investigation revealed there were no active lights on the bicycle, only retroreflectors.
The bicyclist brought suit against the driver for not avoiding the collision. An expert for the bicyclist opined that even though the bicyclist was in the wrong for riding on the left side of the roadway without a headlight, the vehicle operator should/could have observed the retroreflectors, understood their meaning, and avoided the collision. The vehicle operator had a minimal insurance policy which was tendered; however, the bicyclist brought an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim against his own insurance company.