When summer arrives, so do pedestrians and cyclists in greater numbers than ever before. It’s more fun and easier to walk or ride a bike to the park, a store, or a friend’s house now that the weather is so pleasant and enjoyable. We can also take advantage of the longer days by riding earlier and later in the day than we usually do. This makes summer an excellent season for exercise and community. Unfortunately, it can also make summer more dangerous.
Pedestrian and cyclist accidents can occur in an instant, even if all parties are obeying traffic laws. Sharing the road with vehicles can be risky because as a pedestrian or cyclist you are much smaller and therefore less visible to bigger, faster cars and trucks on the road. Add in the human elements of speed, distraction, error, and weather conditions, and the risk grows larger. So what can you do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe? The Utah Injury Lawyers have some tried-and-true tips for pedestrian and cyclist safety.
How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian or Cyclist
Stay in Your Lane. For a pedestrian, this means walking on a sidewalk if there is one available. If no sidewalk is available, stay as far off the road on the shoulder as you possibly can to eliminate your being clipped by a vehicle that cannot see you. When you cross streets, always stay in crosswalks and walk in straight lines. As a cyclist, use delineated bicycle lanes and don’t weave in and out, as it increases your risk of collision.
Stay Visible. For a cyclist, this might mean reflective tape on your bicycle or a flashing light on your head or handlebars. For both cyclists and pedestrians, you may consider bright clothing or reflective tape on your coat or backpack so oncoming vehicles can more easily see you.
Stay Alert. It can be tempting to plug in your headphones or play on your phone while you walk or ride to your destination, but it’s much safer to keep all your senses alert and unoccupied. Look carefully around you every few minutes and listen for approaching vehicles.
Stay Protected. Did you know that 94% of cyclist deaths were individuals not wearing helmets? It’s a tragic and preventable fact. Put on your helmet, even if it messes up your hair for work. Urge your loved ones to always wear their helmets, too.
Stay Involved. Get involved in your city council’s city planning. You can advocate for bike lanes, crosswalks, and general awareness for cyclists and pedestrians. This can make your city safer and more accessible for everyone.
Stay Informed. Make sure you educate yourself and loved ones on traffic laws, which streets have bike lanes, how to safely cross a busy street, and other lessons that can keep you safe and alive as you walk or bike to your destination.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an auto-pedestrian or auto-bicycle accident, you should immediately call the Pedestrian Injury Lawyers of Flickinger, Sutterfield, and Boulton for a free consultation about your injury and compensation.