Bicycling is healthy and great for the environment, but it can also be dangerous. Bicyclists share the road with other vehicles and due to their small size, they can easily disappear in a driver’s blind spot. Just as drivers are required to follow the rules of the road, so are bicyclists. However, a driver should never expect an oncoming bicyclist to obey traffic signals or signs. If, for any reason, a bicyclist doesn’t follow the rules (he or she doesn’t see a sign, isn’t aware of the rules, or just ignores a signal), a driver should yield to the bicycle for safety purposes. As a driver, you may (or may not) be in the right, but trying to prove your point may result in serious harm to the bicyclist. Contact a Boston Injury Attorney Today.
Driving Tips to Keep Everyone Safe
- The best way to avoid an accident with a bicyclist is to follow the same rules that apply to all aspects of safe driving. Being distracted, tired, or reckless behind the wheel puts everyone in danger.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Don’t speed.
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving. If you must make a call, send a text, or adjust your navigation, find a safe place to pull over.
- Check your blind spots before turning or changing lanes.
- Make eye contact with oncoming bicyclists (this also applies to pedestrians).
- Avoid fatigued driving.
- Don’t drive at night if you have trouble seeing after dark. Especially in Boston, there may still be a lot of cyclists on the roads at night. They should be wearing reflective gear, and their bikes should be equipped with a light and reflectors. But this is not always the case. Always be alert for bicyclists and pedestrians when driving in the city at night.
We could learn from Europe.
Bicycling continues to grow in popularity across the United States, but not everyone is happy about it. In areas where bicycling is especially popular, many drivers are frustrated by the perceived ‘entitlement’ that cyclists have while on the road. In fact, cyclists have reported being verbally and physically harassed by passing drivers. Unfortunately, the U.S. hasn’t exactly kept pace with the rapid growth of bicycling in this country. In cities such as Amsterdam, for example, there are bike traffic lights, bike parking garages, and multiple bike lanes everywhere you turn. Although major U.S. cities are beginning to offer similar options, and bike lanes are becoming relatively commonplace, we still have quite a way to go. Bicyclists often have no choice but to ride alongside cars and trucks on busy city streets. In the future, the U.S. will likely catch up to some of our European counterparts in terms of bicycle culture, but for now we all need to learn to share the road.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, the legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have over 50 years of experience protecting the rights of accident and injury victims. Our lawyers have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages. Don’t go through this alone. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.