One of the biggest fears for Kentucky bicyclists is getting into an accident with a motor vehicle on the road. The bicyclist typically suffers major injuries, some of which may be permanent, ending their ability to ride their bicycle in the future.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that bicycle accidents result in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths every year. Today, there are more roads with high-speed limits and bicycle lanes, substantially contributing to bicycle accidents.
Although bicyclists have a responsibility to adhere to the rules around bicycle safety, so do drivers. There are many things that drivers can do to reduce the chance of a serious collision with a bicyclist.
Bicyclists have an equal right to the road
Drivers tend to think that bicyclists have no rights on the road, but this is not true. Bicyclists are actually considered vehicles on the road, the same as cars. There is no rule mandating that bicyclists use sidewalks or stay off the road.
Drivers should try to remain patient, understanding that becoming angry or impatient with the bicyclist will serve no healthy purpose. There are many benefits to bicycling, including less pollution and motor vehicle congestion on the roads. Keeping this in mind can help drivers appreciate bicyclists, rather than be annoyed by them.
Many bicycle accidents take place at intersections, especially when drivers are making a turn. As a driver, always use a turn signal when making a right turn and keep an eye out for bicyclists before turning. When making a left turn in front of a bicyclist, it is best to let the bicyclist pass, since it is easy to underestimate the speed of the bicycle.
Collisions also often occur when a driver is parked and opens their door, and it collides with a bicyclist. Carefully looking to make sure the path is clear before opening a door can reduce the chance of an accident.
Establishing driver negligence
Bicycle accident victims often face many challenges and difficulties. In addition to any injuries, their pain and suffering may be extensive, and they may be unable to work, resulting in lost wages. This is on top of the high medical bills.
Compensation for all these things may be available if the driver’s negligence can be proven. Learning how to prove negligence is essential to determine if compensation is an option.