Motorist Negligence: What to Watch Out for as a Bicyclist

Motorist negligence is a huge problem in Pennsylvania, especially with more and more motorists using hand-held mobile devices behind the wheel. But whatever the cause of motorist negligence – distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving, or something else – one thing is certainly true: motorist negligence creates a major risk for those riding bicycles.

In fact, according to the 2012 National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Behavior, 29 percent of all bicyclist injuries involving the cyclist being hit by a car. If you’re a bicyclist, here are some things to watch for, and ways to stay safe.

A Dangerous Left Turn

A left turn made by a motorist is one of the top causes of cyclist injuries and fatalities. Cars turning left don’t always notice oncoming cyclists. To help keep yourself safe, wear a light, wave, and try to get the motorist’s attention. If the car is coming on fast, avoid entering the intersection, or turn into the same lane as the motorist rather than continuing through the intersection.

Cars Entering and Exiting Driveways

Another thing that cyclists need to watch out for are cars that are entering or exiting driveways. Just like left turns, getting the attention of a motorist backing out of a driveway or entering the driveway is a must.

  • Wear bright colors
  • Use a light
  • Wave your hands to get a motorist’s attention

If you notice a car backing out or pulling into a driveway, put the brakes on until the car has come to a complete stop or you make eye contact with the motorist and she waves you on.

A Right-turn in the Bicyclist’s Path

Cars attempting to make a right turn don’t always pay attention to what going on to the right of them. Instead, they may look for oncoming traffic to the left. For cyclists on the right of the motorist, though, this can be extremely dangerous.

To avoid this, always watch for oncoming motorists and yield to them if necessary, even if you have the right of way. Always travel at a speed that is slow enough to allow you to stop if necessary.

An Attorney Can Help if You’re in a Bicycle Accident

We hope these tips will keep you safe. Also check out our list of safe bike paths and trails in Pennsylvania.

But if you are in a bike accident caused by a motorist’s negligence, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for damages. The attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC, can help you file a claim. You can contact us at 215-642-2335.