Protecting Pedestrians and Cyclists This Spring

Spring is here and it’s time to pack away winter clothes and get ready for sunshine, flowers, and outdoor fun. For many, it’s also time to start walking or cycling to destinations instead of driving. The disturbing downside is the increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Thousands of Americans are seriously injured and killed in crashes involving motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians every year. In some cases, a car driver is at fault; in others, a pedestrian or cyclist is to blame. In either scenario, bicycles and human bodies are no match for cars and trucks, so injuries and fatalities most often affect those on bikes or walking. It would be helpful if every pedestrian and cyclist followed traffic rules, wore their helmets, and put away their cell phones before hitting the streets, but in reality, that doesn’t happen. Many accident victims are young people whose innocency, forgetfulness, or lack of caution costs their health or life. The good news is that automobile drivers can help prevent accidents by being aware of the season’s challenges and taking steps to protect the most vulnerable people on the road.

The Dark Side of Spring: Subtle and Unexpected Driving Dangers

Spring’s environmental changes can affect drivers more than they realize. Increased sun intensity can obscure vision easily, and the effect is quite dramatic after months of grey skies. A beautiful new landscape emerges in spring, and gazing at the environment can take one’s attention away from the road. Along with flowers comes pollen and hay fever, and a sudden sneezing attack or bout of watery eyes can instantly distract or blind an unprepared driver. An often overlooked danger is the effect of antihistamines used to treat spring allergies; they can cause drowsiness and slow reflexes. Spring weather also means more people will be walking dogs; excitable pets may suddenly bolt into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Spring Safety Tips for Drivers

Keeping pedestrians and bicyclists safe isn’t just a matter of telling kids to wear helmets and avoid using cell phones; it’s also the responsibility of everyone else using the road. Drivers should always do the following.

  • Look for and yield to pedestrians at intersections.
  • Keep a safe distance from bicyclists.
  • Obey all traffic signals and laws.
  • Avoid parking in bicycle lanes.
  • Avoid using cell phones while driving, including hands-free devices.
  • Look for oncoming cyclists and pedestrians before opening car doors.
  • Pull over safely if distracted by medical problems or glare.
  • Exercise great caution when small children or pets are near the road.

When the Unthinkable Happens

Sadly, many Indiana drivers neglect to observe safety precautions that protect pedestrians and bicyclists, and their irresponsible actions can change lives forever. If you were injured because of a driver’s negligence, contact the attorneys at Jacobs Law, LLC. Our experienced lawyers will build a solid case to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Fill out our online contact form to schedule your no-cost consultation, or contact us by phone at (317) 794-2024.