A recent bicycle accident in New York points to the importance of sharing the road responsibly.
It should go without saying that anyone on New York's roads should have an awareness of his or her surroundings. Both pedestrians and motorists alike should be on the lookout for others, which includes avoiding distractions, refraining from alcohol use and otherwise behaving responsibly.
Even the slightest mistake can result in an accident. A recent collision in New York demonstrates just that.
A 15-year-old boy was traveling to summer school at a New York high school when his bicycle collided with a pickup truck. The incident occurred as the truck was moving east on a road in Ogden and a teen was headed north on another road. As a result of the crash, the cyclist suffered serious injuries. The pickup truck driver was not injured.
Sharing the road in New York
Law enforcement officers have said that they do not suspect that alcohol, speed or a distracting cellphone played a role in the incident. While the cause of the collision is still unclear, it is known that motorists and those on bicycles must take measures to share the road safely.
According to the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, people are allowed to ride their bicycles on just about any road other than expressways and highways. Further, the state law dictates that cyclists are supposed to ride with traffic, not against it. That means that if there is no bike lane, cyclists will be along the right shoulder.
Guidelines for motorists
Cyclists must obey the same traffic rules as motor vehicles. However, as vehicles far outweigh those on bikes, there are some guidelines for motorists as well. For example, the GTSC suggests that drivers should give people on bicycles plenty of room when passing to avoid a collision.
In some situations, it may be necessary for drivers to use patience. In congested areas or on winding roads, drivers may have to wait some time before attempting to pass a cyclist. During this time, they are urged not to tailgate the rider and instead to give him or her plenty of room, especially if the road is particularly hazardous.
Experts also urge drivers to approach intersections with caution when bicycles are present. Right-hand turns may be especially dangerous, as there may be a cyclist approaching from the rear who is planning on moving straight through the intersection. Motorists must pay attention to whether or not a cyclist is present and exercise caution, even if it means waiting to make the turn until the cyclist has passed.
In New York, someone who suffers an injury due to the result of a collision with a vehicle may be able to hold the driver responsible for injuries. Anyone who has questions about this issue should speak to a personal injury attorney.