As gas prices climb higher in Tucson and other cities across the nation, the number of bicyclists hitting the roads has skyrocketed. Bicyclists are sometimes seen as a nuisance to pedestrians and car drivers alike, but it’s important that those who share the road with bicycles understand the ways for keeping themselves and the cyclists safe.
Know the law
Auto drivers should keep in mind that bicycles are considered equal “vehicles” under the law. Because of this, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as do other operators of vehicles on public roads. While many people assume that bikes must ride in the right-hand side of the lane, bicyclists have the right to take up the entire lane if needed. It might be wiser for cyclists to stay closer to the road’s shoulder, but failure to do so does not put the cyclist at fault for an accident.
Follow rules on yielding and turning
Many bike accidents occur due to failure to follow the rules of yielding and turning. As an automobile driver, make sure to yield to cyclists when turning left or entering the road from a parking lane, driveway or side street. Similarly, wait for the cyclist ahead to clear the intersection before you make a right turn, and don’t turn across the path of the cyclist.
Keep a safe distance
Drivers of automobiles should be careful not to tailgate cyclists on the road. In addition, when passing a bicycle, the same rules apply as with other vehicles. Make sure you provide the bike rider with at least five feet of space and only attempt to pass when you are confident you can re-enter the lane without placing the cyclist at risk.
If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a cyclist, contact an experienced Tucson bicycle accident attorney to give you the legal counsel you need to come out of your case on top.