Avoiding Collisions with Bicyclists

We’ve all heard the phrase “share the road” before. Yet, thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians are killed every year across the US in preventable collisions. 

In today’s post, we wanted to highlight a few practical things you can do when driving to avoid striking a cyclist. 

1. Watch those doors! In January 2022, a North Carolina cyclist suffered critical injuries when a parked driver opened his door. Sadly, the cyclist passed away as a result. When you’re parked along a street, always take care before exiting. 

2. Use care when passing a cyclist. Another common crash scenario is called the “right hook.” Here’s what happens: a driver passes a cyclist and immediately makes a right-hand turn, in front of the cyclist. In this situation, the driver underestimates how fast the cyclist is traveling. Perhaps the safest decision is to simply avoid passing the cyclist if your turn is approaching. 

3. Give space. Washington State law requires you to pass cyclists in a safe manner. On two-lane roads, this means moving entirely into the left lane when passing a cyclist. On one-lane roads, give at least three feet of space. And of course, slow your speed. (Read the details at RCW 46.61.110.)

4. Above all, be patient. When it comes to sharing the road, patience matters. We all have a duty to protect one another – whether truckers, drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians. One simple adjustment you can make is to leave for your destination a few minutes earlier than you think you need to. When you are not rushed on the road, you’ll find you’re less likely to get frustrated. 

Need to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer in Tacoma, WA? Our lawyers are happy to answer all your questions. Please, give us a call today. 

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Angela Russell
Articles: 10

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