Bicyclists are at an extremely high risk of severe injury, which means drivers must be extra cautious to prevent a bicycle accident. Here are five tactics you can use to protect cyclists on the road.
Knowledge of Bicycle Laws
Bicyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists, which means they have the same right to the road as drivers. As a result, you must share the road and try to remain attentive and put yourself in their shoes.
Watching for Signals and Turns
One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is when a vehicle fails to yield the right of way and turns left in front of them. It can be helpful to learn biking hand signals so that you can understand their movements. Additionally, look for any signs that a bicyclist may turn far before you enter an intersection. Slow down and be ready to take evasive action if necessary.
Slow Down and Check Blind Spots
When drivers travel at high speeds, their ability to react quickly and avoid bicyclists on the road is drastically reduced. A collision with a bicycle rider while speeding can be catastrophic or even fatal. Drivers also often fail to check for bicyclists before changing lanes, especially their blind spots. Stay vigilant in situations where lane changes happen frequently and allow extra space when passing a bicycle.
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous and one hundred percent preventable. Drivers often run into bicycle riders due to activities such as texting or talking on the phone, using a navigational system, speaking to other passengers, reaching for items, changing the music, eating, etc. Even when drivers use a hands-free device, they are not focused completely on what is going on around them.
Think of Bicyclists Even After Parking
Dooring is a type of bicycle accident that happens when a motorist swings open their vehicle’s door directly in the path of an oncoming cyclist. In these situations, the cyclist often does not have enough time to stop and ends up crashing into the door. These accidents can be severe, and cyclists have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable. Drivers and passengers should always look for approaching cyclists before opening a door and should open doors slowly to give more time to see an oncoming cyclist.
How Bicyclists Can Avoid an Accident
In addition to drivers, bicyclists can reduce the risk of an accident and severe injuries with these safety tips:
Wear a helmet.
Check equipment before riding.
Know your signals and use them.
Obey all traffic laws and signs.
Wear bright and reflective clothing.
Keep your hands on the bike to ensure you can stay in control even in unexpected circumstances.
Stay on the far right-hand side of the road except when making a left turn.
Always stay alert to your surroundings and be predictable.
Limit distractions by stashing electronics in a bag or pocket.
Stay off sidewalks.
Travel with the flow of traffic.
If you were injured in an accident and need to speak to a bicycle accident lawyer, contact us today.