15th Mar 2016
When it comes to driving and car accidents, you may be surprised to find out that many car accidents involve cyclists and pedestrians. It’s important to remember as a driver, a cyclist, or a pedestrian, that people crossing are everywhere and it’s important for both parties to keep an eye out. Cyclists and pedestrians should not assume that cars will see them and stop; drivers should not assume that pedestrians and cyclists will always be safe from harm.
Keep in mind that as a pedestrian, you have to keep an eye out for bikes, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles as you cross the road– even if you’re in a cross walk. A pedestrian is killed about every two hours as a result of being hit by traffic. Use crosswalks when you can and never have headphones on or be talking on the phone as you cross the road– it can distract you. Keep your eyes open and look both ways as you are crossing. If a car comes by and does not appear to be slowing down, do not keep crossing but get out of the way! Make sure that you walk on the sidewalks whenever you can, and if you’re crossing keep an eye on oncoming traffic.
The majority of accidents involving pedestrians were not at intersections, so don’t buy into that myth. Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere and they DO happen anywhere! Never assume that a driver sees you. Pedestrian accidents can even happen nowhere near the road, in driveways and parking lots and even on road shoulders. If you are walking at night, wear a reflective tape or piece of clothing so that drivers have a better chance of seeing you.
Bikers should also always look about them for traffic while cycling as well. If you bike, make sure to wear a helmet that fits your head and fits it properly. When biking, go in the same direction as cars on the right side of the road. You can ride in the middle of the lane abreast of you if you need to, but go to the right immediately after if possible. Use hand signals to indicate turning; research how to do so online if you need to learn. Use a bell if you have one to alert pedestrians that you are approaching. Also be sure to look out for doors; some people open their car doors right before bicyclists without looking. It’s illegal but it happens. Make sure that you also have reflective gear and clothing too so that people see you when you’re biking.
As for drivers, look for cyclists and pedestrians at every intersection and yield to them. You have to pass bicyclists at a safe distance, and wait until it is safe to pass them or change lanes. As always, obey the traffic laws and keep an eye out for bicyclists signaling turning or lane changes. Be sure to reduce speed to ensure safety around bicyclists and avoid hitting pedestrians. Always respect bike lanes and never use your phone while driving– it’s unsafe and can land you fines in much of Florida.
Unfortunately, it only takes one party not paying attention to cause an accident. Try your best to be safe. If you’ve been involved in an accident and need representation, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.