Bicyclists are the most vulnerable to injury of all travelers on the road. In fact, just earlier this week, a Lawrence bicyclist was killed by a truck on K-10 highway. Cycling accidents have become a serious problem and can result in terrible injury or death. In 2011, 677 bicyclists were killed by a motor vehicle. It’s important that bicyclists and drivers be aware of the extra precautions they can take to prevent collisions.
As an experienced Kansas City bicycle accident lawyer, I’ve seen firsthand how serious and devastating car-bicycle accidents can be. At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we want all travelers to get to where they are going safely so we’ve provided a list of tips for cyclists and drivers to they can safely share Missouri and Kansas roadways.
What Every Bicyclist Needs to Know About Sharing the Road With Cars
Wear Your Helmet: Protect yourself from a traumatic brain injury by strapping on a helmet before hitting the road. Bicycles provide no protection and crashing can result in serious brain injury. It’s important to buy the right type and size of helmet and to wear it every time you ride. Helmets have been known reduce the chance of critical brain injury by 88%.
Look Over Your Bicycle Before Hitting the Road: Make sure you bike is in good condition before going for a ride. Check your tire pressure and be sure your brakes work properly be leaving home.
Use Extra Caution When Passing Parked Cars or Moving Vehicles: Give yourself extra space when passing a vehicle.
Wear bright colors and have reflective gear: Many car-bicycle accidents occur because the driver of the car couldn’t see the bicyclist. Be sure that you have reflective lights on your bike, especially if riding at night, and wear bright colors.
Be Very Cautious When Coming Upon an Intersection: Don’t assume you have the right of way, especially if there are approaching vehicles. Try and make eye contact with drivers before passing through an intersection.
Slow Down Before Turning or Changing Lanes: It’s best to take corners and lane changes slowly to be sure you don’t wipe out. Be sure to signal so cars know what direction you’re headed. Use the bike lane or sidewalk if one is available.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings: Look around you and be aware of any other traveler on the road. Big trucks and SUV’s have a harder time seeing bicyclists because of their larger blind spots. Watch for brake lights, turn signals, and anticipate giving yourself extra time to make a maneuver.
What Every Driver Needs to Know About Sharing the Road With Bicycles
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings: Bicyclists can be hard to see if they are riding in your blind spot or are behind you. Be aware of slowing vehicles because a bicyclist could be up ahead. Also, always check your mirrors before opening your door.
Pass Only When Clear: Never try to pass a bicyclist on a hill or curve. When the road is flat, pass the bicyclists safely and cautiously. Leave plenty of room for the car behind you to pass as well.
Slow Down in Residential Areas and Near Parks: Many people ride their bicycles in the neighborhood or near a park. Slow down and be on the lookout.
Approach Intersections Slowly: A bicyclist may be trying to cross an intersection so it’s best to approach slowly. Give the cyclist plenty of time to clear the intersection before passing.
Always be Aware of the Bike Lane: Many cities have bike lanes to make traveling on busy roads easier for bicyclists and drivers. Be on the lookout and don’t assume all bikers will use the bike lane or a sidewalk.
It’s important to know how to share Kansas City roads safely with other travelers. Remember these tips before getting behind the wheel or behind the handlebars and Kansas City will become a safer place for drivers and cyclists.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, we may be able to help you. Serious injuries usually occur in these types of accidents and medical bills can add up quickly. You should be compensated for your damages and Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys wants to help you. Don’t try to handle the insurance company on your own, give us a call at 816-471-5111 for a free consultation. You can request a free copy of our book, “Don’t Wreck Your Injury Claim,” for more information and you can find us on the web.