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Kansas City Motorists: Tips for Sharing the Road with Bicycles

Despite the crazy winter we have experienced across the country this year, meteorologists keep trying to assure us that spring is truly here. Even if it has not quite felt like spring has "sprung", it should in the days and weeks ahead. The warmer temperatures will bring out children and adults alike who have been trapped inside too long. One spring time activity shared by young and old alike is bicycling. Bicycling is a great past-time but can also be dangerous when motorists and cyclists are not prepared to share the road.

In 2011, it is estimated that approximately 32,000 cyclists were injured in accidents involving a motor vehicle. More than 650 cyclists were killed in such accidents and totaled 2 percent of the motor vehicle fatalities. With this in mind, there are things motorists can do, to better share the road with those who prefer to step on the pedals including:

  • Look before opening your door: Each year motorists are seriously injured when a motorist opens his or her car door into moving traffic. Although cyclists are warned to drive a safe distance from parked cars, as a motorist you can do your part by looking before you swing open your car door.
  • Be on high alert even in your own driveway: In neighborhoods, especially those with sidewalks, children are learning and practicing riding their bicycles. Most often this activity takes place in driveways and up and down the sidewalks. If you need to back out of your drive way take a few seconds to make sure that a cyclist is not coming from the road or sidewalk. Also keep your eye for those big wheel and other low-riding children's bikes that can difficult to see.
  • Leave space when passing: When passing a cyclist, a motorist needs to exercise extra caution. The best thing a motorist can do is to allow at least a 3 foot buffer zone between his or her vehicle and the cyclist. This buffer zone allows the cyclist ample room to maneuver.
  • Double check before turning: Intersections can be deadly spaces for bicycles. Accidents often occur when a cyclist is not seen by a motorist who is making either a left or right-hand turn. Before making a right hand turn, a motorist should first look for a cyclist who may be between his or her vehicle and the curb. Cyclists are often involved in accidents where the motorist is turning and the cyclist is headed straight.
  • Abide by the two second rule: A motorist should always keep at least a two second following distance between his or her vehicle and a cyclist. This two second rule allows a motorist time to come to a stop or maneuver away from the cyclist, thereby avoiding a dangerous read-end collision.
  • Don't drive distracted: Distracted driving occurs when a driver is focused on a task other than driving. Tasks such as using a cell phone or eating while driving take a driver's hands, eyes and potentially their mind off the task of driving. Drivers who are distracted are a major cause of both serious and fatal accidents. When driving in heavy traffic or on a section of roadway with numerous pedestrians and/or cyclists, consider ditching the cell phone.

If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, you need to seek the assistance of a seasoned injury attorney. The Hyland Law Firm, LLC has helped countless numbers of accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries. Attorney, Charles Hyland, understand the devastating effects that a serious accident can have on a family. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation, call The Hyland Law Firm, LLC today at (913) 498-1911. We look forward to providing you with exceptional legal services.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at 6:29 am and is filed under Personal Injury. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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