Intersections and Bicyclists: Understand the Risk
Bicycling is a healthy and environmentally conscious way to travel. For commuters who have traded their cars in for bikes, they often cite cost saving and exercise as excellent benefits of biking. However, it is not without its risks.
When bicycles share the road with other vehicles like cars and trucks, cyclists are at risk for collisions. This is especially true at intersections. While they make up a relatively small portion of a bicyclist’s route, intersections are the site of approximately 45 percent of all bike-car crashes.
The reason why intersections pose such special risks is that they are often a place where drivers change their route or react to traffic signals. They are required to stop and they may turn left or right. Whenever motorists make these decisions, they have to factor other vehicles in. Most drivers are accustomed to looking for other cars and trucks before proceeding through an intersection or making a turn. However, they do not always extend this vigilance to bicyclists who are often easier to miss. The low visibility of bikes and the lack of due care accounts for a large number of intersection accidents involving cars and bikes. To reduce the risks, motorists should watch carefully for bikers before making turns or driving through intersections. The seconds this takes would go a long way to protecting the safety of bicycling commuters.
Bikers can also take steps to increase their safety. They should watch carefully for other cars and try to ensure that drivers see them before crossing intersections. It is also a good idea for them to wear bright or reflective clothing and utilize lights and reflective panels when traveling at night.
If you have been injured in a bike accident, speak with an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer at Lanier Law Group, P.A. to learn more about your options.