There are several key rules motorists should follow in order to ensure they share the road safely with bicyclists. For example, something as simple as checking your blind spots carefully when changing lanes or preparing to turn can go a long way in preventing potentially dangerous crashes. Here are some simple tips to remember regarding bicyclists the next time you are driving:
Know and understand bicyclist rights. Many drivers sometimes do not realize that traffic laws apply to bicyclists as well. Not only do people riding bicycles have their own lanes but they also have the same road rights as those behind the wheel. In order to avoid collisions, treat bicyclists as you would any other motorist. Yield to them and be patient when passing, even if it involves driving behind the bicyclist for some time.
Drive carefully in intersections. Serious car and bicycle accidents can occur in intersections. As a result, drivers should remember to look carefully for bicyclists before making a left or right turn. Be aware of a bicyclist’s hand signals, which indicate the direction in which he or she is planning to go. Bicyclists are allowed to use the left turn lane in an intersection, while those turning right or going straight will usually be on the car’s right.
Look before exiting your vehicle. Drivers inside parked cars should be careful when opening doors next to moving traffic. When you park, make sure to look in your side-view mirror for any approaching bicyclists. A bicyclist has no way of knowing whether a motorist is preparing to open the door and exit the vehicle. The impact can throw the bicyclist into traffic, causing serious harm.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, please contact the Charleston bicycle accident lawyers of the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800.