Sharing the Road with Bicyclists Even in the Winter
Residents and tourists in South Florida get to enjoy nice weather due to our pleasant climate here. This often causes many people to enjoy the outdoors even during the winter months when most of the rest of the country is trying to stay warm indoors. For example, in many states the weather is just too cold for people to be riding bikes, but in Florida, cyclists get to enjoy their bike rides year round. However, just because cyclists can ride most of the year, doesn’t mean that motorists will remember to share the road with bicycles.
Unfortunately, many motorists – especially during the winter months – fail to look out for bicycles. Many drivers often assume bicyclists wouldn’t be riding during the winter; however, there are many bicyclists out on the road and have a legal right to ride. This is why all drivers need to be reminded of this fact and how they can share the road with bicyclists in order to minimize car and bicycle accidents.
While there are many drivers who know how to drive around bicycles and respect a cyclist’s right to the road, there are many drivers who do a lot of things wrong that they need to realize and correct. For this reason we have put together a small list of problems and corrections so that motorists can better share the road with cyclists.
What Do Drivers Do Wrong When Driving Near Bicycles?
- Fail to look for cyclists
- Don’t check their blind spots before moving over a lane
- Try to race a bicyclist to an intersection to make a turn so they don’t have to wait on the cyclist
- Don’t give a cyclist enough room when passing
What Can Drivers Do to Share the Road Better with Cyclists?
- Always look out for small bicycles year round (e.g., prior to turning, when exiting a parking lot, before changing lanes etc.) And avoid distractions at the wheel, such as texting and driving that would cause you to miss seeing a cyclist
- Always double and triple check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes
- Be patient and wait for a bicyclist ahead of you or near your vehicle to cross an intersection or make his or her turn before you attempt a turn
- Pass a bicyclist with extreme care and caution and give the cyclist enough room
Even if a Floridian wouldn’t expect anyone to be riding a bicycle during a chilly winter day, a tourist who just came in from out of state where temperatures are freezing or below freezing might think it is a warm day – a perfect day for a bike ride. This is why all motorists need to be constantly aware of bicycles on our roads year round. Sadly, bicyclists are some of the most vulnerable motorists because they lack the protection that those in cars have. As a result, they often suffer serious crash-related injuries.
By following these tips, you can help reduce your chances of being in a car and bicycle accident; however, not every driver will read this information or avoid distracted driving behaviors. For this reason, bicycle accidents in South Florida may continue to occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle crash due to a negligent driver, you need to seek legal counsel immediately. Find out about your legal rights and get answers to your questions in a free consultation from an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 today.