Although bicycles and motorcycles are popular choices for getting around in Colorado, individuals who use these methods of transportation are at an increased risk of injury if they are involved in a crash. Unlike those who ride in motor vehicles, motorcyclists and bicyclists do not have the protection of the car surrounding them as they travel.
Thousands of motorcyclists and bicyclists are killed every year due to the negligence of other motorists. To maintain the safety of everyone on the road, it is important for motorists to exercise caution around those using bicycles and motorcycles.
How Can Motorists Help Keep Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Safe?
There are several steps that motorists should take as they are driving to avoid accidents with motorcyclists and bicyclists.
First, drivers should always be careful when making turns. It may be difficult to spot an approaching motorcyclist or a bicyclist at times since they are much smaller than motor vehicles. Before turning at an intersection or into a driveway, drivers should check their mirrors and their surroundings for motorcyclists and bicyclists.
If motorists are traveling near a motorcyclist or bicyclist, it is important to leave plenty of space while passing. Motorists should also pass as slowly as possible.
Many roads have designated bike lanes for bicyclists. Motorists should be careful not to cross from their lanes into these bike lanes, as a serious accident could occur. It is also important for drivers to be aware of bicycle lanes when they are turning. If you are driving next to a bicycle lane, make sure to use your turn signal to let cyclists know you intend to turn and double-check your blind spots and side mirrors to make sure the bicycle lane is clear before you turn.
When sharing the road with bicyclists and motorcyclists, motorists should yield the right of way where necessary. These individuals have a right to use the road, just like those using motor vehicles, so they are entitled to the right of way in certain situations.
If a motorist has parked on the street, the motorist should always look in front and behind before opening the door to the vehicle. Many bicyclists have suffered serious injuries when they were struck by opening car doors.
When traveling in a residential area, or in an area with a school or park, motorists should be extra cautious. Children are much more likely to be using their bicycles in these areas and may not always look for oncoming cars.
If a motorist is traveling behind a motorcycle or bicycle, especially in rainy or snowy conditions, the motorist should keep plenty of distance from the motorcyclist or bicyclist. Due to their smaller size, motorcycles and bicycles come to a stop much more quickly than cars. If a motorist is following a motorcycle or bicycle too closely, that motorist may cause a rear-end collision if the bicyclist or motorcyclist stops suddenly.
Motorists must always check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning. It may not always be easy to spot a motorcyclist or bicyclist on the road, but a quick check of one’s blind spots may help a motorist avoid a serious accident.
At nighttime, motorists must be extra careful to look for motorcyclists and bicyclists. Many bicyclists do not have lights on their bikes, and motorcycles may not be immediately visible as they approach a vehicle.
Bicyclists and motorcyclists need to be able to anticipate a vehicle’s actions—so using a turn signal is a necessity. When bicyclists and motorcyclists see that a vehicle is planning to slow down and turn, they may adjust their speed and position accordingly.
At intersections, it is especially important for motorists to stop and look for oncoming bicyclists or motorcyclists. If these individuals are making a left turn, for example, they may be killed if they are struck by a vehicle.
The failure to follow these tips on sharing the road may lead to a serious accident. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident or motorcycle accident, an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney will be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries.
Call Jennifer Donaldson Today to Set Up a Free Consultation
Denver personal injury attorney Jennifer Donaldson has helped motorcycle and bicycle accident victims recover damages for their injuries. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, contact us today.