Bicyclists can be seen all around New Orleans as tourists and residents take advantage of the benefits of bicycling over using other modes of transportation in a crowded city. The City of New Orleans recognized the increasing popularity of bicycling and partnered with Social Bicycles to bring bike sharing to the city. As the bike sharing program launches, motorists may see even more cyclists on city streets. It is important for motorists to be aware of cyclists and to take steps to avoid bicycle accidents.
Tips for Avoiding Accidents with Bicyclists
Several situations can increase the risk of a bicycle accident. Knowing about these situations and how to avoid them can decrease the risk of being involved in a bicycle accident:
- Dooring — Dooring occurs when a parked motorist opens a door in the path of a bicyclist. A cyclist must then swerve to avoid the door or collide with the door. Either choice is not a good option for the bicyclist. To avoid an accident, always be cautious when opening your vehicle door if you are parked on the street or near a bicycle path or travel lane. Carefully look for bicycles and then open your door slowly.
- Sideswiping — A lack of distance between your vehicle and the bicycle causes sideswiping accidents. The vehicle strikes the bicycle, or the rider overcompensates to avoid a collision. When you are passing a rider, make sure that you leave enough distance to avoid a collision and to make the rider feel confident he or she is not going to collide with your vehicle.
- Intersections and Crosswalks — Even though it may not be as likely that a driver will run a red light or stop sign at a controlled intersection, it does occur. To avoid a crash with a bicyclist who is crossing the road at an intersection, always slow down when approaching any crossroads or intersection and look for bicyclists, even if you have the right of way with a green light. Avoiding distractions while driving is crucial for avoiding an
- Left Turns — Left turns are another situation that can increase the risk of a bicycle accident. Bicyclists can be difficult to notice, especially if you are focused on making sure that you have a clear path to turn left in front of oncoming traffic. Be sure to always check blind spots and the intersection, in addition to oncoming traffic, when executing a left-hand turn.
Have You Been Injured in a New Orleans Bicycle Accident?
If a driver caused a bicycle crash and you were injured, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your damages and injuries. In addition to compensating you for your financial damages, including expenses for medical care and loss of income, you can also receive compensation for your pain and suffering damages. An experienced New Orleans bicycle attorney can help you file a claim so that you can get the money you need and deserve after a bicycle accident.
For your free case evaluation and a free consultation, call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889. We urge you to request a free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney before speaking with the insurance adjuster for the driver of the vehicle that caused your injury.