Accidents between cars and bicycle riders are on the increase in Boise, especially in the summer months. It seems that some drivers consider bicycle riders to be an irritation or annoyance. Obviously, a bicyclist is much more vulnerable to injury in an accident than a vehicle driver. Therefore, it is important for vehicle drivers and bicyclists to respect each other and to become more aware of the presence of each other on the roadways, but it is difficult at times.
There are many types of driving actions that can lead to an accident with a cyclist. Some of these include:
Careless Turning: When a bicycle is present at an intersection, drivers will often try to impatiently turn in front of the cyclist. A driver should always give a cyclist who has the right-of-way the time to pass through the intersection before attempting a turn.
Careless Passing: A driver needs to give a cyclist plenty of room while passing. Otherwise, the cyclist might be forced off the road or into another car or object.
Disregard of Bike Paths: When there is a bicycle path along a roadway, whether on the shoulder of the road or on the sidewalk, drivers should take note of the presence of the bike path. Where drivers fail to respect the presence of a bike path, driveways and intersections become points of particular danger, as a bicyclist with the right-of-way may be cut off or struck by a driver who isn’t watching for their presence. Many drivers forget bike lanes are not turn lanes as well.
Opening Car Doors: Sometimes after parking a car, a motorist will open the door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. These accidents can be particularly dangerous to cyclists, as they are often thrown over the car door. Pay attention to the presence of bicycles before opening your car door.
Underestimating Bicycle Speed: Often drivers are not used to estimating the speed of bicycles, whether they are approaching from the front or rear, and may underestimate the ability of the bicyclist to catch up with them or pass them. Thus, even knowing a bicyclist is on the road, sometimes a driver will make a turn or open a car door without giving sufficient regard to the bicyclist’s speed, causing an accident.
If you are injured in a car bicycle accident, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with these types of accidents.
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