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What Drivers Should Do to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

Car Accidents

While bicycle riders can take steps to reduce their risk on the road, they cannot avoid the dangers of riding in close proximity to motor vehicles entirely. Drivers share responsibility for avoiding collisions with cyclists and bike riders as well; and, when they make bad decisions or dangerous mistakes, they deserve to be held accountable.

The following are just some of the ways that drivers can (and should) avoid causing bicycle accidents:

Giving Cyclists Plenty of Buffer on the Road

On public roads, cyclists have the same right to occupy their lane as motor vehicle drivers. Drivers must not tailgate bicycle riders, and they must leave plenty of buffer when passing. In many cases, bicycle accidents happen because drivers get too close to cyclists, and then they aren’t able to stop, slow down or swerve in time to avoid a collision.

Staying Out of Dedicated Bicycle Lanes

When bicycle lanes are available, cyclists and bike riders are supposed to use them—and drivers are not. While drivers may need to cross bicycle lanes to make turns, they must watch for riders when doing so, and they must not force riders off of the road or into traffic.

Watching Out for Bikes in Neighborhoods and Other High Bicycle Traffic Areas

When driving in neighborhoods and school zones, near parks, and in other areas with high bicycle traffic, drivers need to proceed with caution. Drivers should anticipate encountering bicycle riders, and they should be especially cautious when there may be children on bikes that they can’t see.

Obeying All Traffic Signs and Signals

Speeding, running red lights and ignoring signs that say “Children at Play” are all common (and completely avoidable) causes of bicycle accidents. Simply obeying all traffic signs and signals greatly reduces drivers’ risk of causing dangerous collisions.

Obeying the Other Rules of the Road 

In addition to obeying all traffic signs and signals, drivers also need to obey the other rules of the road. Among other things, this means avoiding distractions, never driving under the influence, and never attempting to pass or turn without the right of way.  

Anticipating Potentially Dangerous Situations 

From cyclists turning without signaling to children entering the road unexpectedly, drivers should anticipate potentially dangerous situations when in the vicinity of bicycle riders. Even if a cyclist isn’t being as careful as he or she should be, this is not an excuse for a driver causing an avoidable accident.

Erring on the Side of Caution

In all situations, drivers should err on the side of caution when there is any chance of a possible encounter with a bicycle rider. It simply isn’t worth taking a chance given the potential risks involved. Collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles can have deadly consequences, and there is no excuse for a driver unnecessarily putting a cyclist or bike rider in harm’s way.

If a driver’s failure to do any of the following played a role in your (or your loved one’s) bicycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation under Florida law. Contact Searcy Law today and schedule a free consultation with a top Florida bike accident attorney. 

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