Many drivers feel irritation when they notice a cyclist or pedestrian. These slow-moving parties may seem like a hindrance to the flow of traffic and an unsafe addition to the road. However, it is the law that motor vehicles should share the road safely with cyclists and pedestrians, as well as motorcycles and other vehicles. Drivers must follow the traffic laws that allow pedestrians and cyclists to use most of the same roads as motor vehicles.
If someone who is driving a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian or a cyclist, they could very easily find themselves blamed for the wreck and facing financial responsibility for the other party’s medical expenses and lost wages. How can drivers protect themselves and share the road safely with cyclists and pedestrians at the same time?
1. Remember to actively watch for them
One of the most common reasons that pedestrian and cyclist collisions occur is that those in larger vehicles failed to notice them. When people make it a practice to intentionally check for smaller vehicles and pedestrians, especially near intersections and while in parking lots, they can reduce their risk of causing a crash and hurting someone else.
2. Understand the rules of the road
There are important traffic rules that apply to cyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists should either install lighted signals on their vehicles or use hand signals to indicate when they will turn or stop. They must abide by all posted signs and travel with the flow of traffic. Pedestrians also have to obey signage, and they should walk in the direction opposing traffic so that they can see oncoming vehicles.
When pedestrians and cyclists break these rules, they may actually be at fault for the crash that occurs. Motorists who know the rules that apply to cyclists and pedestrians will often have an easier time monitoring them in traffic as well.
3. Recognize the risk of distraction
Glancing down at the phone to read a text message for five seconds could mean traveling quite some distance without looking at the road. Especially in urban centers and when approaching intersections, it is particularly dangerous or motorists to give in to the temptation of their digital devices.
Maintaining a careful focus on the road and a recognition that better weather often leads to more people out exercising can help motorists avoid collisions. Taking thoughtful steps to avoid pedestrian and cyclist crashes can help motorists minimize their liability on the road. In the event of a crash, victims may be able to work with an experienced legal professional to prove that they weren’t liable for the resulting harm as a result of their conscientious approach.