If you live in the Phoenix area but do not ride a bicycle, chances are that you do not pay a lot of attention to bicycle safety or the threat of bicycle accidents. But that could be a massive mistake as anyone can be involved in a bicycle crash – even those who do not ride. The fact remains that most of the collisions involving bikes in Arizona also involve a vehicle, whether it is a car, truck, or bus, so even those who utilize vehicular transit must be cognizant of bicycle-related safety concerns.
First, know that it is the right of cyclist to ride their bikes in the roadways around Phoenix. This means that drivers do not have the right to ignore cyclists or their bikes as they ride and that drivers must respect the right of cyclists to be present on the streets. If you drive, accept in your mind that cyclists will be present just as you accept that other vehicles will be on the roadway. Understanding their right to ride and accepting it can eliminate the frustration some motorists feel when they see bicycles in their path.
Second, realize that respecting the rights and safety of a bicyclist will also help improve your own safety. No one wants to be involved in a collision, and if you avoid dangerous conduct around a cyclist, you will not only keep that cyclist safe but you will also reduce the risks that you will be involved in a crash. Practicing safe driving is beneficial for all those who use the roadways in the Valley.
Third, know that the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that the majority of bicycle accidents occur at intersections, including driveways. If you are near a cyclist and/or near an intersection, appreciate the fact that the risks for riders may be increased as cyclists and motorists cross paths. Take precaution and proceed with care so as to avoid any actions that may threaten public safety in these areas.
Of course, safety issues also fall on the shoulders of bicyclists who must ensure their conduct is proper when they ride on public streets. Cyclists are required to follow all the same traffic rules and regulations that apply to vehicles and they can be cited for failing to do so. Bicyclists must stop for red lights, signal before turning, and ride within a designated lane of traffic, to name a few of the requirements. But in addition to the rules that apply to everyone, there are additional rules that apply only to Arizona bicyclists. Cyclists can only ride two across on a street but may ride more on a designated bike path. They must keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times and have a brake that enables their wheel to skid if necessary. And cyclists may not attach their bicycles to another vehicle, like a car, while they are riding. There are more rules that all cyclists should know and follow to make sure they are as safe as possible while they ride, and knowing all applicable rules is the duty of each and every cyclist in Phoenix.
If motorists and cyclists alike followed the rules of the road and operated in a safe manner, almost all collisions between those groups would be eliminated. But until that happens, crashes will keep taking place and will continue to cause injuries or even death among those involved.
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident in Maricopa County or if someone you love was injured or killed and you are looking for answers, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and take advantage of our no-cost, no-obligation case consultation. We can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and everything discussed during the consultation will be kept confidential.
If you have questions, the legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. wants to help you. Call us today and let us fight for your right to a financial settlement that you deserve for the damages you sustained in your accident.
Prior Blog Entry:
Why Seat Position in a Car Matters for Your Child’s Safety, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 22, 2015.