If we all follow these easy tips for sharing the road, we can all help each other get where we’re going safely.
It is rumored that the first documented car accident in U.S. history, recorded all the way back in 1896, involved a car colliding with a bicycle. It’s difficult to imagine any type of collision back then, with as few vehicles of any type as there were on the road, but they did occur.
With the massive numbers of all types of commuters on today’s roads however, different kinds of collisions are much more common, including bicycle versus automobile accidents. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligent actions of another person, contact the Green Law Firm, P.C. for experienced help today.
More Bikes on the Road, More Accidents
Americans are buying bicycles at the rate of 16 million a year. When those bicycles are mixed in with the 250 million registered vehicles on U.S. roads, accidents are bound to happen.
In fact, approximately 45,000 bicyclists are injured every year in collisions, and another 700 are killed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
With the growing popularity of cycling for recreation, exercise, and commuting, cyclists and motorists must learn to co-exist, so that everyone can reach their destinations safely.
Dangerous Scenarios for Cyclists
Intersections continue to be a dangerous area for bicyclists. According to available numbers, 35 percent of all fatal bicycle accidents occurred when the cyclist was trying to cross a roadway. Drivers may not see the cyclist or they may have ignored the right-of-way laws at the time of the collision.
Limited visibility at driveway and parking lot entrances increase the odds of cyclists being struck by motor vehicles as they cross them. Cyclists should always stop and check that the way is clear before crossing, because while motorists check the road for other vehicles, they may not look for bicycles.
Bicycle accidents can result in gruesome injuries and even death. Abrasions, cuts, brain injuries, broken bones, busted teeth, closed head trauma, and coma are some of the injuries sustained by bicyclists. Friction burn and amputation are also known results of an impact to a bicycle rider.
Sharing the Road is Everyone’s Responsibility
Safety Tips for Motorists
By adhering to these simple tips for sharing the road, you can do your part to reduce bicycle accidents:
- When passing a cyclist, be sure to give a wide berth- over 15 states have passed a 3-foot rule.
- Check your mirrors and blind spots for cyclists before initiating turns.
- Don’t drive impaired or distracted.
- Always obey the posted speed limits.
- Look before opening your door, especially when parked on the street.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
To help avoid bicycle accidents follow these tips:
- Maximize your visibility. Wear light colored or reflective clothing, and make sure your bicycle is outfitted with reflectors and lights.
- Stay attentive when approaching an intersection.
- Adjusting your lane position to the left as you approach an intersection will make you more visible to drivers.
- Try to ride single file when riding with friends.
- Never ride impaired or distracted.
Never ride against traffic. Not only is it illegal for bicycles to do this, it is also very dangerous and accounts for a large portion of bicycle accidents.