Bike Accidents In Pennsylvania Can Be Caused By Driver Negligence

Bike Accidents In Pennsylvania Can Be Caused By Driver Negligence

Bicycles and motorcycles are fun and economical means of transportation. However, they offer very little protection from inclement weather and other Pennsylvania motorists. Sharing the road with other motorists is the greatest danger for a cyclist. Despite a decline in recent years of automobile injuries and deaths, bicycle and motorcycle injuries and fatalities are on the rise, primarily due to driver negligence.

What is Driver Negligence?

When a person is negligent, they have behaved thoughtlessly or carelessly, which caused harm or injury to a person. Someone can be negligent if they do something they shouldn’t have or fail to do something they should have done.

The Four Most Common Forms of Driver Negligence Are:

  1. Distracted driving
  2. Reckless driving
  3. Disobeying traffic laws
  4. Driving under the influence

What Motorists Can Do to Prevent Bicycle Accidents

Impatient drivers cause many accidents. When you encounter a bicycle, take a moment to observe the roadway. Once you have determined it is safe and necessary to pass, give the cyclist plenty of space.

Tips for Driving Alongside Cyclists

  1. Give riders space. Allow riders at least 5 feet of space when you pass and be sure to wait until you know you can pass them safely.
  2. Look before opening your driver’s side door. Carefully look behind you and avoid opening your door directly in the path of an upcoming bicycle.
  3. Use airplane mode on your phone. Turn your phone off to airplane mode and be focused on your driving.
  4. Don’t get angry. It’s easy to assume the worst intentions and intelligence of other road users. Stay calm and proceed to your destination.
  5. Use your horn sparingly. A car horn can be alarming to a cyclist.
  6. Check your blind spot before every right turn. This will help you avoid cutting off any approaching bicycle riders.

A cyclist in the road represents the most minor and momentary delay. Waiting a few seconds to pass a cyclist safely will not affect your total trip time at all. Injuring a bicyclist because you are impatient and frustrated will cost you a lot more than a few seconds.

Many accidents between bikes and cars involve complex legal issues. If you or someone you know has been the victim in a bicycle accident with a motorist, please call Goldberg Persky & White at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form and one of our attorneys will evaluate your case at no charge.

 

 

Sources:
Goguen David, “Car Accidents caused by negligence” Nolo [Link]
U.S. Department of Transportation,“Bicycle Safety” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Link]
Blue Elly, “5 Tips for Driving Alongside Cyclists” Bicycling (2016). [Link]
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