Bicycling is a very popular past time in Iowa. The vast stretches of bike trails throughout the state, scenic backdrops and various cycle clubs attract many enthusiasts.
Between time on the trails, many riders take to the streets mixing with motor vehicles, which can present a particular danger to bicyclists. Just over the weekend, a 2016 RAGBRAI participant was killed after the driver of a pickup struck his bike from behind. The driver apparently did not see the bicyclist in the early hours of Sunday morning.
This year 9 bicyclists have been killed in Iowa, which is nearly twice the number reported last year. Many of these fatalities were a result of a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist.
In order to prevent accidents, drivers of motor vehicles and bicyclists should take extra care when sharing the road.
If you are riding a bicycle:
Use bike trails preferentially. When you do travel along streets, try to pick those that have less traffic and slower speeds. Dress brightly to increase your odds of being seen and use lights, both front and back, if you are traveling during times when there is less sunlight. Exercise caution around possible danger zones like intersections, driveways or cars park along streets. Make eye contact with drivers at intersections when possible and use hand signals to alert drivers to changes in your direction. Give your full attention to navigating safely by tucking away your smartphone or music device.
Drivers of motor vehicles:
Give wide berth to bicyclists when you encounter them on the road when possible. Before pulling out from an intersection, making left or right hand turns, leaving a parking spot or even opening a car door, make sure that there are no bicyclists traveling along the roadway or sidewalk in your path. The bumper sticker “See Bicycles” sums this up succinctly as many drivers report that they did not see a bicyclists before a collision – all drivers should make a conscious effort to look for bike riders and take measures to avoid collisions.
If you or a loved one has been injured a motor vehicle accident, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. John has represented plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits for more than 30 years and has the knowledge and experience to help you recover the compensation you will need.
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