The use of bicycles as an every-day commuter is becoming more and more prevalent in response to energy costs and environmental awareness throughout the nation. This means motorists find themselves sharing the road with steadily increasing bicycle traffic that was not previously present. It’s every driver’s responsibility to ensure they do not create hazardous conditions for other commuters on the road, and in order to do so certain driving behaviors need to be modified or eliminated.
Share the Road Safely
Bicycle culture is on the rise, and it is increasingly vital for drivers to be familiar with how to drive safely around cyclists. Follow these easy guidelines to avoid a dangerous accident:
1. Check Your Blind Spots
One of the more common kinds of cyclist accidents takes place when a motorist merges or changes lanes without seeing a cyclist. Bicycles are much smaller and difficult to spot than other cars and can hide in blind spots much more easily. Checking your blind spots will help ensure that cyclists aren’t overlooked.
2. Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Getting stuck behind a bicycle on a narrow road can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that by law a cyclist has the same rights as a motorist on most streets and roadways. More importantly, cyclists are vastly more vulnerable to serious injury in the event of an accident. A good rule of thumb to use is to keep one car length of distance for every 10 mph of speed.
3. Don’t Stop in a Bicycle Lane
Bike lanes are generally created in areas of high known bicycle traffic and exist to make driving conditions safer for cyclists and more convenient for motorists. Blocking a bike lane forces cyclists to move out into traffic where cars are not expecting them to be, drastically increasing the risk of an accident.
4. Leave Room When Passing
A large number of wrecks involving cars and bicycles are a result of the cyclist being clipped by a car attempting to pass them. If passing the bike will leave a very small amount of room for the bicycle to maneuver in, it’s best to wait for another opportunity.
Unfortunately, not everyone will use safe driving habits around cyclists which can compromise the safety of motorists and cyclists alike.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver while cycling, it’s imperative that you seek the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Des Moines personal injury lawyer. Call the attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. today at (515) 705-0233 to discuss how to seek compensation for your medical bills and damages.