Riding a bike with a dog: if things go wrong, you may be partly to blame

Haufe Online Editorial Office

Riding a bicycle with a dog on a leash involves considerable risks and must therefore be done with extreme foresight. The contributory negligence in the event of a fall under the influence of others can therefore be quite high.

It was a painful fall with announcement. The plaintiff who had the accident was riding with the Bicycle on the road, riding one-handed, as he has two on the right hand Shepherd dogs on a leash led. The fall occurred when the cyclist approached from behind a Pedestrian who was running on the grass verge at the left edge of the bicycle with his freely running dog.

Encounter with free running dog leads to fall

The dog of the pedestrian ran toward the cyclist together with the dogs. He braked abruptly, lost his balance and fell. In the process, he suffered a significant injury to his right hand, which required 20 stitches. 18 days Sick leave came in addition.

From the pedestrian the man demanded u.a. compensation in the amount of 1.500 euros. However, the district court in Steinfurt awarded him only 200 euros, based on a basic award of 800 euros for pain and suffering.

Cyclist has a contributory negligence rate of 75 percent

200 euros because the court found that the bicyclist had a Contributory negligence of 75 percent saw. The LG Munster agreed with the assessment of the AG in the main points, in particular the amount of the claim for damages for pain and suffering.

According to the court, the plaintiff had to accept responsibility for an extremely dangerous driving style with two dogs on the leash and the leash in his right hand. It saw in it a particularly risk-increasing behavior, which is also reflected in the legal provisions: § 28 para. 1 S. 3 and 4 StVO forbids in the interest of traffic safety in principle the driving of vehicles from. Only larger (obedient) dogs behind bicycles are exempt from this rule.

Control of the bicycle must not be impaired by the dog

Bicyclists with dog in the sense of the StVO would have to ensure however that the control of the bicycle by the animal is not impaired. However, this was clearly not the case in the cyclist’s case. For example, in the case of a right turn, he would not have had an Direction indicator be able to hand over. A left turn would have required a free-hand driving to indicate the direction – on the right the man held his two dogs on a leash.

In particular, the court pointed out that the cyclist should have reacted in time when he saw that he was approaching a pedestrian with a free-roaming dog – he should have either Reduce speed or even dismount must.

In order to reduce the risks for cyclists with dogs, there is also the possibility of attaching a special dog guard to the bicycle Dog owner to build a dog leash that can be suspended and attached to the bicycle and that allows the cyclist to use both hands to guide the bicycle.

The court also pointed out that a potentially dangerous situation could have arisen for the bicyclist even in the encounter with a leashed dog if the dogs had reacted to each other.

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