As Summer turns to Fall, bicycle traffic increases; students are riding to and from school, and commuter and hobbyist cyclists across the country are taking advantage of the beautiful weather to get outside and get active.
Many drivers are not accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists, and this can lead to an unfortunate uptick in the number of collisions between drivers and bicyclists. It’s important to protect yourself and your fellow community members by taking every precaution to avoid an accident.
If you’re a bicyclist or driver who has recently been involved in an accident, an experienced car accident lawyer at Auger & Auger will be glad to discuss the details of your case, assess your damages, determine who was at fault, and help you pursue the maximum compensation available.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to anyone who thinks they may have a case or needs assistance handling a case involving a collision with a cyclist. Call Auger & Auger at (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to get help today.
To help out everyone on the road, we have compiled the following list of tips to provide you with tangible measures you can take as a driver to avoid hitting a cyclist.
1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It should go without saying that any time you are behind the wheel of a car, you should be fully alert, with distractions minimized, and eyes on the road. Being a defensive driver entails actively keeping an eye out for potential hazards and anticipating the actions of others so that you can react in a timely and appropriate manner.
Always pay special attention to bike lanes, if they exist in your area, and never allow your vehicle to cross over the line. Scan the horizon for upcoming intersections and cyclists on the road ahead of you; their presence can sneak up on you since they travel at much slower speeds than automobile traffic.
2. Check Your Mirrors
Always check your mirrors for cyclists who may be traveling in close proximity to you! This is especially important when turning onto a side street. A cyclist may be riding in the bike lane or on the shoulder of the road, and you don’t want to cut in front of them or hit them as you make your turn.
When backing out of a driveway or parking space, check your rearview mirror several times and proceed with caution to avoid backing into or out in front of an unsuspecting cyclist coming down the road towards you.
Take a look in your side-view mirror before opening your door after parallel parking; you certainly don’t want to swing it open in front of a bicycle that is traveling too fast to stop in time!
3. Signal Your Intentions Clearly
Using your turn signals and other forms of communication to indicate your intentions while driving is one of the most helpful things you can do as a driver for everyone on the road, especially cyclists! Most seasoned cyclists are well aware of the potential dangers that motorists pose and they will be paying close attention to the traffic around them.
If they know what moves you are planning to make, and are given enough of a warning in advance, bicycle riders can effectively plan their own movements to avoid being in your way or ending up in a dangerous situation.
4. Familiarize Yourself With Common Cyclist Behaviors
Of course, there are rules and regulations regarding non-motorized vehicles such as bikes, but equally important for all-around safety is knowing what your local bike culture is like and what to expect from the cyclists in your area. In many cities, bicycle couriers weave in and out of traffic to make deliveries — is this legal? Typically not. Yet is it something you need to know and look out for? Absolutely.
Do cyclists in your area gather for mass social rides on certain days of the week or month? Does your neighborhood allow for school children to ride bikes on the sidewalk where you won’t see them until they enter an intersection or cross a driveway? These are just a few examples of how the local community can influence the types of cyclists and related risks you may encounter as a driver.
5. Know and Adhere To Local Traffic Laws Regarding Bikes
As more and more people opt for the eco- and health-conscious transportation of a bicycle, community awareness of their unique needs increases, and, as a result, new local laws are put into place to help handle some of the common problems cyclists and drivers face when sharing the road.
Seeking out your local bicycle laws and staying up to date on them as they evolve to suit your community’s needs is an important part of being a safe and conscientious driver. Especially in the event of an accident, it’s vital to understand where and how someone failed to follow the law.
Reach Out to a Car Accident Lawyer If You Need Help
If you find yourself in a situation where someone was harmed in a road accident, hiring an experienced attorney to represent you can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Auger & Auger will draw upon their years of experience and research every detail of your case in order to determine who was at fault and whether you qualify for compensation. You deserve protection from the financial and legal consequences of someone else’s poor decisions!
Speak to a car accident attorney during a free, no-obligation case review when you dial (800) 559-5741 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.