Get Back on a Safe Track for Spring Cycling
Thanks to North Carolina’s temperate weather conditions and the state’s outstanding support for bicyclists, our Charlotte bike accident attorneys take pride in the number of riders who hit the roads regularly throughout year. However, we understand that many riders put their bikes away until the temperatures start warming in April.
A great way to kick off the Spring cycling season is to participate in the 2016 Cycle NC Coastal ride scheduled for April 22 – 24. Before embarking on any ride, bikers should consider the season to be a good time to refresh their knowledge of how to remain safe when sharing the roads with motorists.
A Focus on Traffic and Traction Can Help Prevent Injuries
Bicycles are fun and economical modes of transportation for North Carolinians, but riders should always be aware of the risks of maneuvering through a variety of conditions on vehicles that provide no protection. The following conditions require special attention:
- Slick road surfaces: Whether riding after a rain storm or even after the road stripes have been repainted, bicyclists need to expect slick roads. Wet roads are particularly dangerous before rain has had a chance to wash away oil residue and painted lane markings remain slick even after they dry.
- Gravel roads: It is easy to lose traction on gravel, particularly when riders do not maintain adequate speeds. It takes practice to learn the difference between the right amount of speed and too much speed.
- Road damage: Striking a pothole or even a crack in the road can send a bike veering out of control. While riders need to remain watchful for these types of hazards, they also must consider which types of evasive action are most appropriate when motorists are nearby.
- Uneven road surfaces: Happily, brick and cobblestone roads are not as common as they used to be, but riders who encounter them should consider choosing a different route because the risks can be highly unpredictable.
Even as bikers need to focus on the road under their wheels, however, they also need to remain aware of the motor vehicles near them. Even in perfect riding conditions, particularly after a winter of reduced bike traffic, negligent or distracted motorists can easily cause accidents resulting in severe injuries.
Spring Does Not Change Motorists’ Behavior
Legally-defined as vehicles under NC law, bicycles are expected to follow the laws set forth in the North Carolina Drivers Handbook. However, the laws do not always help motorists notice the smaller vehicles until it is too late to prevent an accident.
Spring may bring more cyclists to the roads, but no riders should expect motorists to become instantly aware of changes to traffic patterns. While this fact does not remove liability for bicycle accidents from careless drivers, it certainly supports the idea that riders need to consider meeting and exceeding the rules of the road to protect themselves from serious injuries.
Since the facts behind these accidents can be difficult to prove, injury victims should seek legal support as soon as possible after seeking medical attention for their injuries. Call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation and learn how we can help.