Spring is an excellent time for motorists to brush up on their safe driving skills. Now that the weather has become a little more enjoyable the risk becomes much higher for motorcycle, pedestrian or bicycle accidents in North Carolina. As part of a spring safe driving series we will be drawing attention to the dangers faced by motorists encountering more walkers, bikers, and cyclists on Carolina roadways.
Our personal injury attorneys in Statesville, Gastonia and Asheville know that North Carolina ranks near the top in deadly bicycle accidents across the United States. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 16 fatal bicycle accidents in 2009 for the state, which placed it in the top 10 among all states. From 2005 to 2009, North Carolina averaged almost 25 deaths per year from fatal bicycle accidents. The highest death count recorded during that period was 36 in 2005.
The total number of bicycle accidents occurring each year may be skewed as we posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog. Advocates feel that a good number of accidents don’t get reported so creating awareness and methods for safety are more important than ever. Whether cyclists enjoy the hobby as a good method for fitness, or families utilize riding as a method of enjoying quality time together, safety should be made a priority to keep cyclists safe from motor vehicle crashes.
Motorists should keep the following suggestions in mind in order to avoid a crash with a bicyclist:
-Never drive when you are extremely tired. Bicyclists are difficult to see and can appear out of nowhere so drivers should always be on alert.
-Approach intersections at a slower pace and check for any cyclist that may be crossing from another direction.
-Obey all traffic laws and use turn signals so that bicyclists and other motorists don’t have to guess what you are doing. Being predictable is the best method to being a safe driver.
-Be on the lookout for bicycle reflectors or bright clothing, especially at night.
-If no bike paths exist on the street or roadway, give the cyclists plenty of space to maneuver.
Motorists and cyclists should always be accommodating when sharing the same roadways in order to keep everyone free from danger. Cyclists are reminded to wear bright clothing, always obey traffic laws, stay alert, and use bike paths with caution when they are available.
The Lee & Smith, P.A. is an experienced team of personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greenville and Spartanburg who represent accident victims and their families. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle or car accident, call 1-800-887-1965 for a free consultation to discuss your rights.