That bicyclist you nearly hit when you were rushing to work, the store, or church on Sunday morning was someone’s relative: a mother, wife, daughter, husband, or son. They were just trying to get some exercise outdoors. Bicyclists have the right to be on the roadway, just like other road users. Of course, they must also obey the same traffic rules as other road users, but so should drivers when encountering a cyclist.
Bicycling deaths on the rise
According to Injury Facts®, the number of deaths from bicycle incidents increased 16% in 2020. Across the last 10 years, the number of deaths has increased by 44%: from 873 in 2011 to 1,260 in 2020. Of the 1,260 cycling fatalities in 2020, 806 involved motor vehicle crashes.
The law in Pennsylvania
The law in Pennsylvania requires vehicles to give a four foot safety zone when passing a bicyclist on the roadway. Bicyclists should also always follow the rules of the road. This includes wearing a helmet, using hand signals when turning, and riding single file in the same direction as traffic. In addition, wearing reflective, neon, or bright clothing helps bicyclists to be seen. Using headlights or a flashing light under the seat also helps. For more helpful safety tips, visit: https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/seasonal-safety/summer-safety/bicycles.
Is it worth it?
Is it really worth gaining a few extra seconds by speeding past a bicyclist? Think about the consequences if another vehicle is driving in the opposite direction. The chances are there isn’t enough space to move over and give the bicyclist room. So, pause and think about the statistics next time you pass a bicyclist, pedestrian, or runner on the road.
If you or a loved one have been killed or catastrophically injured because of someone else’s negligence on the rad, contact Jaime Jackson Law here.