The sun is shining, the birds and chirping, and the flowers are blooming. Happy first day of spring! Even though we are all excited to get out and enjoy the new season, be careful not to put too much spring in your step – with more people outdoors, there is an increased chance for accidents and injuries to occur on or near the road. Be on the lookout for the following types of situations:
Many people ride their bikes to commute and exercise once the weather permits. By law, bicycles on the roadway have the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles, according to the NHTSA. If you are riding your bike on the road, be sure to follow all traffic laws, use hand signals, stay in the designated bike lane if there is one, and, of course, wear your helmet. If you are driving your car around bicyclists, be sure to slow down, keep your distance, and double-check that the other lane is clear before passing them. Bicyclist deaths account for 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities and 2 percent of all people injured in traffic accidents, according to the NSC - stay vigilant and do not be a part of that statistic!
Just like with bicycles, the warmer weather and sunshine encourages people to walk, jog, and run outdoors. Just like with bicyclists, when driving your car, be sure to slow down when you are near pedestrians, and keep in mind that they have the right-of-way. If you are a pedestrian, make sure you follow the rules of the road, look both ways before crossing the street, and walk on sidewalks when possible. Just because pedestrians technically have the right-away does not guarantee cars will always stop in time. Pedestrian accidents do not only occur on busy road either – think of children playing in the front yard and running unexpectedly into the street, pets getting off their leash or hopping a fence onto the street, etc. Pedestrian deaths account for almost 20 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the GHSA. That percentage becomes even higher in states that are warmer year-round. It is essential for both drivers and pedestrians to take extra caution when sharing the road to avoid preventable tragedies.
Hazardous Weather and Road Conditions
April showers bring May flowers – and hazardous road conditions. Be on the lookout for potential flooding and remember that even a small amount of rain can make the road dangerous and slippery.
When it is not raining, even sunshine can be dangerous when a glare temporarily blinds a driver. Always keep a pair of sunglasses in your car, and do not hesitate to pull over if you are unable to see clearly.
Spring also brings an increase in wildlife activity. Pay attention to the road ahead of you to avoid hitting animals. If an animal, such as a deer, does jump in front of you unexpectedly, brake and stay in your lane. Do not swerve to avoid an animal – serving can cause you to lose control of your car and result in a much more serious accident.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, we are ready to help your family recover from this tragedy and pursue legal action against those responsible. You may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement or emotional distress. Contact one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Fiffik Law Group to help you get the compensation you deserve.
For more information, check out Bankrate's Road Safety Guide for both cyclists and drivers. Their guide includes cyclists safety tips, bicycle safety features, bike road rules, and tips for drivers.