Personal injury attorneys know that if you are a cyclist that has been injured in an accident, you are part of a disturbing trend. The combination of school returning, and shorter daylight hours means that drivers must be increasingly aware of cyclists on the road. A community that integrates cycling as a practical means of transportation offers a better quality life. Bicycling is good for the environment, the economy, and provides a practical alternative to congested streets. Alternatively, it is an effective way to improve the physical health of Charlotte’s citizens. As in major cities all across the country, more people in Charlotte are discovering the many benefits of bicycling. Local government will need to work hard to ensure that bicycling in Charlotte is safe and efficient.
Distracted driving and cyclists
Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to distracted drivers. They are in close proximity to the traffic and have very little protection if something develops quickly. The most common form of distracted driving is reading or sending text messages while a driver is operating the vehicle. Even talking on the cell phone can decrease a driver’s attention and reduce his or her reaction time. Distracted driving is not restricted to just cell phone use. It also includes the following:
- GPS entries and map reading
- On board computer usage
- Video billboards
- Personal grooming
- Reaching for items in the car
- operating the radio or CD player
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with a pet
Virtually anything that keeps you from paying complete attention to the road and traffic qualifies as distracted driving. Consider the following tips to help you remain aware and mindful of cyclist this fall:
- Look carefully before opening your car door – Cyclists can become hidden in your vehicle’s blind spots, literally in a nanosecond. Particularly if you are driving a large SUV or a Van. Van doors that slide open on the traffic lane side, are particularly dangerous for both cyclists and passengers.
- Be aware of cyclists at road junctions – Cyclist can be moving too fast, or are simply hard to see as they turn into or out of junctions, especially in the dark. It is also important to remember that window pillars in your car can completely obscure cyclists and pedestrians. Move your head and look around the pillars for a safer view.
- When turning right, look out for cyclists on the inside of the traffic lane – Make sure that you check mirrors and blind spots before starting your turn.
- Be aware that cyclists may suddenly swerve – What seems to be a perfectly smooth road to a driver cans still be filled with hazards for a cyclist. They must move or swerve to avoid potholes, drain covers or road debris. Allow plenty of room (preferably 3-4 feet) when overtaking a cyclist.
- Remember that strong gusts of wind can blow a cyclist off course – when overtaking a cyclist near gaps in fences, buildings, hedges, or other exposed areas; there is always a danger of crosswinds being present.
In many municipalities, cyclists are held to the same traffic standards as motorists. However, it is to everyone’s benefit that extra care and caution are used around cyclists because being in the right does not prevent accidents… being aware does.
Charlotte personal injury lawyer handles distracted driver cases
Hiring a personal injury attorney is essential if you want the best possible compensation after your accident. The Olive Law Firm of Charlotte, NC has more than 56 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims. They have earned a reputation as a trusted and compassionate Firm that prepares to take every case to court in order to obtain the best possible outcomes for their clients. If you want the best representation after you are injured in an accident, then call their office for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.