National Ride to Work Day is on June 19, 2017, and the event is designed to encourage commuters to hop on their motorcycles, bicycles, or scooters for their trips. While this can help cut fuel consumption, it can add some extra challenges for drivers of other vehicles. In this blog, a Tucson personal injury attorney at Lerner and Rowe explains how car drivers can safely share the road with these vehicles on this day as well as throughout the year:
Respect bicyclists’ rights. Arizona law gives bicyclists the same rights and responsibilities that other drivers have, so you’ll need to yield the right of way to them just as you would a motorist.
Be patient with passing. If you’re passing a bicyclist, wait until it’s safe to do so. Allow at least three feet of clearance between your vehicle and the bicyclist when you’re passing him or her.
Be careful when you’re turning. If you’re turning right, don’t try to speed past a bicyclist who’s on your right in an attempt to turn before they reach your car. They could end up crashing into the passenger side of your car. When you’re turning left, make sure to yield to bicyclists who are going straight through the intersection in the opposite direction. You may not realize how fast they’re going, especially if they’re headed down an incline.
Don’t try to share the lane. Even if it seems like there’s enough room for your vehicle and a motorcycle to share the lane, riders need a full lane width to operate their motorcycles safely.
Don’t assume their signal means they’re turning. Unlike cars, most motorcycles don’t have self-cancelling turn signals. So if a motorcyclist has a signal on, wait to make sure he or she is actually turning and hasn’t just forgotten to turn their signal off.
Don’t tailgate. It’s even more dangerous to tailgate a motorcycle than it is to do this to another car. Motorcycles are more affected by uneven payment, potholes, gravel, or wet surfaces and their riders may need to suddenly change speed or their position on the road.
Check your blind spot carefully. Scooters are very compact vehicles, so they can be harder to see under certain conditions. If you’re changing lanes, make sure they’re not in your blind spot.
Watch for sudden movements. Scooters are more mobile than many other larger types of vehicles, so watch them very closely in case their drivers make sudden, unexpected movements.
Be especially careful near colleges. Students often love the mobility and affordable transportation that scooters provide, so be especially careful when you’re driving near the University of Arizona or another school.
Getting help from a Tucson personal injury attorney
If you’ve been in an accident, contact a Tucson personal injury attorney at Lerner and Rowe by calling 520-977-1900. Our office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. but you can reach us by phone or by clicking the Live Chat tab.