Bike & Pedestrian Safety: Tips to Avoid an Accident

In many cities in the U.S., hopping in the car to get to your destination is a given. Mass transit, biking and walking are much less common as a means of transportation. Every year, thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians in the U.S. are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents involving cars or trucks. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and NHTSA, in 2009, 4,092 pedestrians and 630 bicyclists were killed in such collisions; another 59,000 pedestrians and 51,000 bicyclists were injured.

The most recent bicycle vs. truck death in the news was that of Steven Laverne Jordan of Raleigh who was biking on Louisburg Road in northeast Raleigh on July 4 when he was hit from behind by an empty logging truck. Sadly, Mr. Jordan was killed in the crash. The truck driver was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

In many cases involving pedestrians or bicyclists, the driver of the car or truck simply didn’t see the individual. In others, the bicyclist may not have followed the law or the pedestrian may have stepped in front of the vehicle without looking. It is important that we all remember to follow some basic safety tips:

  • Cyclists must follow the same rules of the road as drivers. This means stopping at red lights, using lights at night and signaling.
  • Bicyclists should use bike lanes when they are available. If there are no bike lanes on the road you are traveling, ride single file to the far right side of the lane.
  • Pedestrians should cross at intersections with the traffic signal.
  • If there are no sidewalks where you are, walk in the street facing traffic and be aware that drivers may not see you.
  • Both pedestrians and bicyclists should wear light colored or reflective clothing so drivers will have the best chance of seeing you.

Hit and Run

While no driver expects to hit a pedestrian or cyclist, in the event that you do so, NEVER flee the scene. Always stop, check on the injured party and call 9-1-1. Remember that it is a felony in North Carolina to leave the scene of an injury accident.

If everyone works together to share the road, we can all be safer. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may wish to speak to a Raleigh Durham auto accident attorney to learn your rights.

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