Though riding a bicycle is something that many people do every day (especially during the summer months), it can also be very dangerous for those on our roads. In fact, an astounding 6.8% of West Virginia’s traffic fatalities take place involving bicyclists and pedestrians. Because these serious crashes continue to take place across our roads every day, it is imperative to understand the ways that we can share the roads with cyclists and ensure that they are kept safe from harm.
How Drivers and Cyclists Can Share West Virginia Roads
Bicyclists are known for being some of the most vulnerable parties on our roads next to pedestrians. This is due to the fact that there is nothing protecting a cyclist from harm when they are struck by a motor vehicle. With cars weighing more and topping much higher speeds, anything can happen. Here are just a few of the ways that we can share the roads with one another, safely:
Remembering Vulnerability: Many drivers on our roads fail to see that bicyclists have few protections from harm and proceed as normal around these riders, not understanding that an accident could be deadly for them. When an accident takes place between these two vehicles, there is almost always a chance that a bicyclist will either be injured or killed. Some of the most common and serious injuries that result from these accidents include fractures, organ damage, brain trauma, and spinal injuries.
Remembering Rights: Bicyclists have many rights on our roads. Drivers tend to dominate the roads but in no way have more rights than cyclists and other vulnerable parties. Drivers are always urged to abide by a variety of different laws around cyclists, such as looking carefully for them at all times, being careful at intersections, and ensuring that they never merge into a bicycle lane.
Keeping the Right Attitude: Drivers sometimes act as if they do not have to abide by the law in certain situations, which can put cyclists in danger. Many people also think that cyclists are just in their way due to the fact that they are slower riders. Cyclists have lives worth protecting and drivers must always keep the right attitude to avoid serious accidents that can take lives.
Avoiding Common Accidents: At intersections, common accidents known as right hooks take place when drivers attempt to make a turn. If a driver does not notice a cyclist in the intersection and continues to proceed, there is always a chance that a driver could crash directly into the bicyclist. Drivers must always remember to use their signals so that bicyclists know what moves they are planning on taking, just as cyclists should always watch out for impending danger.
Avoiding Distracted Driving: Distracted driving takes place more often than we would like to admit on our roads and only increases as more and more people continue to drive while texting or talking on their phones. By avoiding distracted driving, more lives could be saved.
Speaking with a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
At Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, we understand how overwhelming it can be to face the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident that takes place at the hands of a negligent party. Perhaps you are facing physical injuries that have kept you out of work or financial trauma that has set you back on bills. No matter what, we will help you compensate for your injuries and move forward. Contact our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible at (304) 713-2014.