While the season is known for sunshine and relaxation, summertime on Connecticut roads is no vacation. In fact, the warmer months are when the roads generally become more dangerous than at any other time of the year.
Cars and trucks share the streets and highways with motorcycles, pedestrians and bicyclists. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports road trips during the warmer time of the year mean more fatalities, with July and August being the deadliest months.
That’s why it’s critical to understand how to safely share the road, whether you’re driving a 4,000-pound car or riding a 17-pound bicycle.
How to keep motorcyclists and bicyclists safe
Summer is a time when motorcyclists and bicyclists take to the roads. Drivers must recognize that people using two wheels to get around have the same rights as those using four wheels. As a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration article states, motorcyclists and bicyclists have their own safety challenges. They are smaller and less visible on the road.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Understand common hand signals used by cyclists (for example, a left arm sticking straight out indicates the cyclist is planning to turn left; a left arm held up at a 90-degree angle indicates a right turn; a left arm held down at a 90-degree angle indicates an intention to stop or slow down.
- Give the cyclist space when you’re passing
- Check for an approaching cyclist before opening your door after parking
How to keep pedestrians safe
Pedestrians also have a right to use the roads. If you are driving and approaching a crosswalk, be prepared to stop for someone in the crosswalk. Never pass a car that’s stopped at a crosswalk. That vehicle may be stopped for a pedestrian using the crosswalk. Drivers also should use caution while in parking lots, especially if backing up.
Pedestrian, bicycle accidents on the rise
Whether for health reasons or environmental reasons, more and more people are finding alternatives to driving to get around. NHTSA reports an increase in the number of pedestrian and bicycle deaths over the past ten years. The number of motorcycle-accident deaths also increased by 15 percent in urban areas from 2008-2017.
What to do after an accident
You may use a bicycle, motorcycle or your own two legs to get around this summer. Unfortunately, accidents happen to people even when they take precautions to avoid them.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, or a loved one was killed because of a driver’s careless or reckless actions, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Jeremy Vishno has more than 25 years of experience handling a variety of accident cases. He can stand up to the insurance company on your behalf and demand a fair settlement. If the insurance company is not willing to reach a fair settlement, he’ll take the case to trial if necessary.
Contact the Vishno Law Firm today for a free consultation.