A Growing Concern for Cycling in A World of Distracted Driving

 

Cycling can be a great pastime as well as an environmentally friendly commuter option for many people in Las Vegas. Still, despite the appeal of bicycle riding, cyclists can face significant dangers from the larger, heavier vehicles on the roads around them. In general, cyclists are at much higher risk of serious injuries or even fatalities in a crash with a car. The growth in distracted driving exacerbates these concerns; people who text behind the wheel cause thousands of accidents each year, and a number of these can impact – and injure – Las Vegas cyclists.

Las Vegas bike laws aim to protect cyclists and help them share the road with drivers. Cyclists can ride in lanes of traffic along with vehicles; in fact, this is generally safer than riding on the shoulder. On the other hand, where marked bike lanes exist, cyclists must make use of them. When bicyclists ride with other vehicles on the road, they must follow applicable traffic laws, including stopping at red lights and signaling for upcoming turns.

Far too many bicycle accidents are caused not by misunderstandings about how to share the road, however, but by distracted drivers operating behind the wheel while sending a text, reading an email or posting to social media. In 2016, American cyclists faced their deadliest year since 1991. In 2016, 840 bicyclists lost their lives, the first time the number has been higher than 836 in 25 years. Analysts say that this isn’t merely due to the increased number of bikes on the road. Instead, the actual fatality rate for cyclists has grown around 2 percent annually for the past five years.

In general, bike lanes can help to promote safety. Even distracted drivers are less likely to cause a crash in another lane; many distracted driving crashes take place because a driver fails to stop at a signal or in slow traffic. However, distracted drivers have crossed into bike lanes on multiple occasions, leading to severe injuries or even fatalities. Despite widespread public awareness campaigns drawing attention to the dangers of distracted driving, people continue to text or email while behind the wheel. Many surveys show that people recognize the behavior is dangerous but continue to engage in it themselves.

Bicyclists who have been injured by distracted drivers may face a struggle; at times, police have tended to ticket cyclists while preferring cars. Medical bills can rack up quickly, and injured cyclists may be unable to return to work. When cyclists are injured due to someone else’s negligent or distracted driving, they can reach out to the best Las Vegas personal injury attorney for assistance. The Schnitzer Law Firm has a strong track record of experience and success for people who are victims of dangerous drivers. Contact us by phone, email or use our secure online form to set up an initial consultation.

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