Motorists know that they may encounter cyclists when driving; however, many drivers don’t give much thought to bicyclists. Unfortunately, cyclists are very vulnerable to suffering serious injuries or death if they are struck by moving motor vehicles. Even knowing this, drivers don’t really give much thought to them beyond being annoyed by having to share the road with them.
In urban environments, however, drivers need to pay more attention and be mindful of cyclists—especially when entering or exiting driveways. Driveways that vehicles enter and exit present dangers to cyclists riding past the driveway opening for the following reasons:
- Drivers are in a hurry to reach their destinations
- Drivers speed up to beat cyclists and end up cutting a bicycle off
- Drivers don’t feel like they have to wait for bicyclists
- Drivers are so focused on pulling out into traffic that they aren’t watching out for cyclists
- Parked cars or other objects could be blocking a driver’s view
- Poor design of the driveway
- Other factors
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents near driveways and parking lot entrances on Bee Ridge Road or any street in the Sarasota area can occur at any time of the year; however, the statistics indicate that these types of crashes spike during summer months. The months of June, July and August account for the most fatal bicycle accidents. This could be because children are off of school and riding their bicycles more, or it could be because adults who normally don’t ride their bikes do so during the summer.
While any age rider can be hit while riding past a driveway, children are particularly vulnerable because they are smaller to see and they don’t always ride cautiously. Sadly, children often don’t realize the impact a two thousand pound car can have on them if they are struck by a car while riding their bicycles.
While any cyclist is at risk when riding, children are at an increased risk and should be taught how to ride safely around traffic. Even though children may not understand the impact of a crash until it is too late, drivers who are careless and negligent at the wheel are ultimately the ones responsible for failing to yield to bicyclists.
We hope that this information will make you more aware of the dangers associated with cyclists and driveways. Do your part to help reduce the number of bicycle accidents and injuries and share this information with those you love on Facebook or Twitter.