Sharing the Road with Cyclists

A man rides his bike on the sideCycling is a green, relatively safe way to transport oneself from point A to point B. At least, that’s what we want to think. But “relatively safe” will depend largely on the drivers and cyclists themselves. How can we share the road better, and cause less accident statistics as the years go on? Join us today as J. Price McNamara and our team take a look at top safety tips for cyclists and drivers here in Louisiana.

How Often Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?

As more and more people are discovering the benefits of cycling to work, school, and other areas around town, it comes with a slight rise in accidents as well. For many of these accidents, they are caused by recklessness, road obstacles, or general unawareness of one’s surroundings.

Let’s take a look at some sobering statistics to give you some perspective.

  • According to the Louisiana, there were 33 deaths involving cyclists, with 13 of them involving alcohol in 2015.
  • That same year, there were 679 total bicycle-related accidents that resulted in an injury or death.

What To Do After a Bicycle Accident in Baton Rouge

Step 1: Assess Yourself
Are you in need of medical attention? If your injuries are not serious, get to a hospital as soon as possible to get checked out. If serious, call emergency services instead of trying to transport yourself.

Step 2: Save the Doctor’s Diagnosis
Save your doctor’s report, if you can. If you pursue legal action against the driver, it’s important that you know exactly what injuries you received.

Step 3: Contact J. Price McNamara
As soon as you are safe and able, contact us for a free consultation. We will defend your rights, assess your injuries, and walk you through the process if you pursue legal action against the motorist that hit you.

Step 4: Give Testimony, If Required by Police
Cooperate with any law enforcement that requires your testimony. Before you do so, however, keep in contact with our team at J. Price McNamara.

Step 5: Contact is Key
Stay in touch with our team about your status, such as any worsening injuries, lost wages due to inability to work, difficulty supporting dependents, etc. These are important facts that will be needed for your case.

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Get a Headlight: If you plan to ride at night, it’s highly recommended that you have lights on your person or attached to your bicycle. This way, motor vehicles will be more aware of you as the sun sets or after.
  • Slow Down at Intersections or Crosses: Whether you are making a turn or continuing straight through, it’s important that you not assume all cars can see you. Instead, make eye contact with any drivers that could potentially cross paths with you before you make a move.
  • Ride to the Left: Whether there is a bike lane or not, you are within your rights to stay far from the sidewalk or curb, so that you don’t fall. This is especially true for parked cars next to a bike lane, as an open door could knock you over and seriously injure you.
  • Watch Out for Surface Hazards: Unfortunately, the bike lane often becomes the trashcan of the road. Be aware of what’s ahead of you, keeping watch for big debris, glass, tree branches, and more.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Above All, Share the Road: Cars do not have the right of way, it’s the pedestrians and cyclists that do. We must all share the road, so give leeway to cyclists on the road, and be aware of your surrounding when making turns or changing lanes.
  • At Least 3 Feet of Clearance: It’s required by law that motor vehicles leave at least 3 feet of clearance between them and a cyclist. If there is no bike lane separating the traffic, you are responsible for leaving room between your vehicle and the bike.
  • Look Before Changing Lanes: A responsible driver doesn’t just rely on their mirrors to check traffic before changing lanes. Turn your head to glance at where you’re turning. Your vehicle and mirrors have blind spots, so be aware of who’s next to you before changing.
  • Look Before Opening Doors: If you are parallel parked on a street beside a bike lane, look behind you before you open your driver’s side door.

Contact J. Price McNamara in Baton Rouge and Metairie

If you have been involved in a bicycle-related accident, contact us as soon as possible. We want to help you get your life back on track, and will defend your rights and fight for your case. Join us for a free case consultation,and we’ll be happy to answer any questions and inform you of the next steps.