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Drivers and cyclists share the responsibility of road safety

Heading toward summer, road safety advocates remind cyclists and motorists to consider each other when they share the Baton Rouge roads. Longer days and warmer weather have many people dusting off their bicycles to use for their daily commutes to school and work and fun rides on the weekends. Louisiana is near the top of the list of states with the most fatalities among adult cyclists.

Based on 2015 statistics, the Centers for Disease Control says only Florida and Delaware have higher death rates for bicycle riders. However, to lower the number of bicycle accidents, all road users should be more responsible and allow each other their rightful space on the Baton Rouge roads.

Road safety tips for bicyclists

The following two tips are basic but reported to cover the primary causes for bicycle accidents:

  • Bicyclists must ride with the flow of traffic and never against it.
  • Those who ride after dark must ensure their bicycles have working lights on the front and rear.

Almost one-quarter of fatal bicycle accidents involved riders who rode against the traffic, and 50% of deaths occurred after dark.

Road safety tips for motorists

Vehicle drivers can help keep cyclists safe by following these basic safety rules:

  • Never pass too close to bicycle riders.
  • Motorists should put at least three feet between their vehicles and cyclists.
  • Motorists should make a point of looking for bicycles in driveways and intersections.

Four in 10 fatal bicycle accidents happened when vehicles struck the bicycles from behind. More than 40% of cyclist fatalities followed accidents that happened in intersections. Further to these safety tips, both motorists and cyclists should never take to the Baton Rouge roads after consuming alcohol or using drugs.

Bicycle riders who were injured in accidents caused by negligent motorists might have grounds to file personal injury lawsuits. Similarly, the surviving family members of cyclists who lost their lives in such accidents could file wrongful death lawsuits in a Baton Rouge civil court to pursue financial relief.