Watching for bicyclists in Wichita is important all year long, but it's especially imperative for drivers during the spring and summer months, when more riders are on the roads.
Because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knows that drivers are not necessarily used to seeing riders on the roads after winter, the NHTSA has named May as Bicycle Safety Month. This nationwide effort is intended to remind drivers about how to safely share the roads. Tips are also offered to bicycle riders for protecting themselves and doing their part to avoid becoming involved in a car wreck.
A personal injury lawyer knows that bicycle riders remain at significant risk of collisions, and that the bicycle accident death rate has not gone down along with the decline in other types of motor vehicle accident deaths. Both riders and drivers should do their part over this summer to try to avoid collisions that could cause serious injury or fatalities.
Bike Safety is a Top Priority in Spring and Summer
The NHTSA has recommendations for both bikers as well as for drivers during National Bike Safety Month:
- Bicycle riders should wear helmets when they ride.
- Bicycle riders should wear bright colored clothing when they ride. This can help to ensure visibility.
- Bicycle riders should use reflectors, especially for night riding.
- Bicycle riders should use hand signals to alert motorists of their intentions when riding.
- Bicycle riders should follow the rules of the road and obey all traffic laws, just like any other motorists.
- Drivers should stay focused on the road and avoid distraction.
- Drivers should never get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
- Drivers should give bicycle riders plenty of space, leaving at least three feet between the car and bike when passing.
- Drivers should respect bicycle lanes and not encroach on spaces set aside for bicycle riders.
- Drivers should look carefully for riders before they pass or turn, remembering that bike riders are more likely to be in their blind spot than other cars.
Many bicycle riders have been made to feel afraid of drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a nationwide study to get a better understanding of attitudes towards both walking and bicycle riding. More than 7,000 people responded to the survey, and 1/5 of the people said that they had ridden their bicycles over the prior 30 days.
Of the people who ride bikes, 12 percent said that they had experienced fear for their personal safety when riding. Of those who had experienced fear, 83 percent attributed their concerns to other motorists in cars and trucks. Most said that the cars made them feel at risk because of speeding or because of passing too closely.
Drivers need to be aware of the impact that they are having on bike riders. Both drivers and riders should be respectful of each other on the roads and follow best practices for safety in order to reduce the risk of a motor vehicle crash during the warm summer months.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Wichita, contact Warner Law Offices. Call 866-584-1032 today.