Boosting Bicyclist Safety in Arizona
Pedestrians and bicyclists are in extreme danger when they walk, jog, or cycle near vehicles or on the road with automobiles. If a car collides with a pedestrian or a bicyclist, the pedestrian and bicyclist stand to sustain a significant amount of bodily damage. There is much less protection surrounding a bicyclist or pedestrian than there is for occupants of a car, not to mention the marked difference in size and weight of a car versus the human body. Bicyclists tend to share the road with other vehicles more often than pedestrians and have multiple dangers to look out for.
Not only do bicyclists have to worry about being hit by a car, but they can also be severely injured when a driver unexpectedly opens up their door and catches the bicyclist by surprise. In this situation, when a car occupant is not alert to their surroundings and isn’t paying attention to who is around them, they can open their door, and if a bicyclist is present the cyclist has no other recourse than to slam into the door. Alternatively, if the bicyclist sees the door open in enough time to veer out of the way of hitting it, they may put themselves in even more danger should they find themselves facing oncoming traffic. A bicyclist may have avoided a serious injury but they could lose their life if they are run over.
How Can Car Occupants Keep Bicyclists Safer?
There are many things that a driver of an automobile can do to increase bicyclist safety. The first would be to be responsible and alert while behind the wheel and avoid driving recklessly. Observing the rules of the road and being mindful of others who share the road with you can go a long way. This is true not only for bicyclists but also for motorcyclists, another demographic at high risk for substantial injury and death when in a traffic accident.
While accidents where a bicyclist slams into an open car door are not as common as when a car and a bicyclist collide in transit, they still happen and they can result in major harm for bicyclists. Several injuries including broken bones, abrasions and lacerations, massive head trauma, and even coma can result from one of these injuries. If the injuries are distressing enough, they can lead to life-long limitations, chronic pain and headaches, and potentially death.
In the Netherlands, due to their high bicycle traffic population, they have developed a way for car occupants to force themselves to be more aware of potential cyclists riding by before they open their doors. What is termed the Dutch Reach method is a way in which car occupants can force their bodies towards their windows so they have an increased likelihood that they will spot a bicyclist. By extending the hand furthest from the door across the body to open a door, a person is forced to turn their body and head towards the door. Now they are more likely to see any potential hazards or people that can be affected by an unforeseen open door.
Speak with an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney Today
Should you be injured in an Arizona bicycle accident, call the Arizona personal injury attorneys at ELG immediately. To schedule your free consultation with the Phoenix serious injury attorneys, simply call (623) 877-3600 today.