Updated article: Original publish date 4/1/14
As a motorist, sharing the road with cyclists is inevitable and at times can be challenging if one is uneducated about traffic laws. Not being fully educated is what ultimately leads to fatal injury accidents. In fact, in 2015, it was reported by the Arizona Department of Transportation that 1,434 Arizona cyclists were involved in motor vehicle traffic crashes. According to Arizona State law, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Therefore, driving throughout Arizona requires care, courtesy and most importantly, knowledge.
Drivers will see an increase of cyclist volume on the roads throughout the cooler months when bicycling to work becomes popular. Drivers can easily be distracted from a number of vises and at the same time are rarely looking for anything on the road other than another vehicle. It is imperative to avoid distractions and keep an eye out for cyclists and motorcycles as we approach the fall season.
Intersections are the number one locations where bicycle accidents occur, as drivers can easily miss sighting them, so be extra cautious.
To minimize risk and prevent hitting a cyclist while driving, follow these four easy steps from the League of American Bicyclists and ensure you properly share the road with cyclists.
1. Drive Cautiously:
2. Respect Cyclists:
3. Pass with Care:
4. Watch for Children:
It goes without saying that caution is key to avoiding bicycle accidents while driving. However, by educating yourself and learning the rules of sharing the road with cyclists, you can help lower the number of fatalities that occur each year due to motor vehicle and bicycle collisions.