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Drivers and cyclists must work together to stay safe

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2020 | Car Accidents

Motorists share the road with bicyclists on a regular basis. This is sometimes troubling because some drivers think of the cyclists as pedestrians instead of fellow vehicle operators sharing the road. Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road in the same way as motorized vehicles.

There are many ways that drivers can help to keep bicyclists safe. They can follow the basic rules of the road just like they are written. There is no room for deviation when safety is part of the equation.

Bicyclists have rights

Just as a car has specific rights on the roads, so do bicyclists. It is imperative that motorists always give a bicycle rider the appropriate right-of-way. It is easy to overlook these small profile vehicles so drivers must be very cautious.

One thing that drivers should always do is to give appropriate clearance to bicycles. In Illinois, they must be given at least three feet of clearance, according to state law. If possible, drivers should give them more space because you never know when a bicyclist will lose their balance or hit something along the roadway that makes them slip or skid.

Distractions can’t occur

Drivers and bicyclists must ensure they are giving their full attention to their journey. It is unacceptable for either of these individuals to try to do things like text when they are moving. It only takes a split second for a crash to occur, so there’s a lot of opportunity in the five seconds it takes to read a text. No driver or cyclist should take their focus off the road.

Dooring must be stopped

Dooring occurs when a bicyclist is riding past a vehicle, one of the car’s doors opens and the cyclist gets hit with it or slams into it. This can lead to very serious injuries, but it can be prevented if people would just check around them before they open the door to the vehicle.

Any cyclist who is struck by a vehicle is likely going to suffer an injury. When this occurs, they need to seek medical care immediately. They may not be able to return to work, which can make a challenging financial situation even more difficult. When the driver’s negligence led to the crash, the victim might opt to seek compensation from the driver to help curtail the financial impact of the incident.