New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Roof Racks, Bikes, Etc.: Barriers to Visibility?

Posted on Jul 17, 2015 in Car Accidents

Bikes, roof racks and various other items are often billed as matters of convenience — don’t have room inside your vehicle for bulky travel items? Put them on a roof rack or strap them onto the back of your vehicle. In other instances, it’s a matter of contracting businesses hauling all of their tools around without using a properly-sized vehicle.
Either way, these types of vehicle add-ons can be dangerous.

From time to time, you might see some comic lampooning of people using roof racks improperly, for example, transporting pets in a bubble above their car. But you rarely see some of the more grim aspects of how people use aftermarket contraptions to carry more things on the road.

Roof Racks, Etc.
When used properly, roof racks and bike racks can be safe. It’s largely a question of whether all safety precautions have been followed, whether items are being used in accordance with manufacturer directions and whether or not they are obstructions to other drivers.

The same applies to things like long ladders, hand tools, irrigation or pesticide tanks and all of the other gear that you see hanging off of pickup trucks and other work vehicles. There are standards for these kinds of gear and non-compliance can make a difference in a traffic injury case.

New York Laws
In New York City and other areas of New York State, there’s a good amount of debate about laws restricting oversized items on the road and the enforcement of such laws. For instance, New York police are fairly aggressive about certain types of large items, like ladders on metro area parkways and highways in other areas of the state. Law enforcement is tough on these rules for a reason — items stored on the exteriors of vehicles can pose real risks on the road!

When called upon to represent their clients’ interests in court, New York injury lawyers look at whether safety rules were followed in a traffic accident. They may assess whether any exterior item was secured to a vehicle in a proper way, to include:

• Proper attachment of a fifth wheel
• Bike rack installations
• Roof racks

They will also look at whether safety protocols were followed, or alternatively, whether inattention to safety rules or negligence led to an accident. Within the full context of the case, injury lawyers will look at details about the driver and his or her employer to figure out how certain types of risks applied and who might be responsible to compensate an injured person.

Get Help From a New York City Car Accident Law Firm
Residents injured in the New York area can call the lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our skilled attorneys help New York City families and others handle local court cases. We are experienced in helping clients get settlements for the costs of care and recovery. Ask us what we can do for you to help bring a claim for injury in and around the five boroughs.

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