Often times, prior to a collision with a vehicle, a bicyclist might be faced with a split second decision. In Wisconsin, the law may provide for an instruction to the jury regarding a split second decision and that because of an imminent emergency, a bicyclist may not have been at fault even if he or she made the wrong choice at the time during a bicycle accident. The doctrine/ jury instruction may be similar to the following: (keep in mind that this can also be used as a defense by drivers of cars):

When considering negligence as to management and control, bear in mind that the operator of a bicycle may suddenly be confronted by an emergency not brought about or contributed by his or her own negligence. If that happens, the operator of a bicycle is compelled to act instantly to avoid collision. The operator of the bicycle is not negligent if he or she makes such a choice of action or inaction as an ordinarily prudent person might make if placed in the same position. This is so even if it later appears that his or her choice was not the best or safest course. This rule does not apply to any person whose negligence wholly or in part creates the emergency. A person is not entitled to the benefit of this emergency rule unless he or she is without fault in the creation of the emergency. This emergency rule is to be considered by you only with respect to your consideration of negligence as to management and control.

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