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It’s no surprise that distracted driving has become a major safety issue in modern society. From texting to checking social media, many are guilty of taking our eyes off the road and onto their phones. Responsible for thousands of crashes each year, it is unfortunately becoming increasingly commonplace, with cyclists among those most at risk from this growing epidemic and who have to make a claim for a cycle accident.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the dangers posed by distracted drivers and how they can have a devastating impact on bicycle accidents. We’ll also discuss ways both drivers and cyclists can help reduce distractions while on the road to avoid bike accident claims.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of safely operating a vehicle. This can include anything from using mobile phones to eating or drinking while behind the wheel. Distractions can be both visual (taking one’s eyes off the road) and manual (removing one’s hands from the wheel).
The impact of distracted driving on cyclists
For cyclists, the consequences of distracted driving can be devastating. During the year 2022, there were 99 cyclist fatalities, with distracted driving being one of the most common causes of cycling road traffic collisions. This shows the importance of reducing distracted driving to help keep cyclists safe.
The good news is that there are steps both drivers and cyclists can take to help reduce the risk of distracted driving-related accidents and cycling claims.
How Can Drivers Avoid Distracted Driving?
Drivers have a responsibility to remain focused on the road. To help reduce distractions while driving, drivers should:
- Turn off their phones while in the car and put them away out of reach.
- Keep their eyes on the road and avoid other activities such as eating, drinking, or changing stations/playlists.
- If a driver has passengers, they should assign them with tasks such as navigation or adjusting the radio.
- Make sure to pull over when making phone calls or checking messages.
How Can Cyclists Stay Safe?
Cyclists must also take responsibility for their own safety by being proactive and vigilant on the roads. To help reduce the risk of a distracted driving-related accident, cyclists should:
- Wear bright clothing and lights to make themselves more visible.
- Be aware of their surroundings and look out for any signs of distracted drivers.
- Stay in designated bike lanes whenever possible.
- Make sure to stay at least one car length away from any vehicle and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
- Signal and use hand signals when making turns or changing lanes to alert drivers of their intentions.
Community Initiatives to Reduce Distracted Driving and Increase Bicycle Safety
In addition to individual efforts, local communities can play an important role in reducing distracted driving and increasing bicycle safety. For example, many cities have implemented initiatives that seek to bring down the number of fatal traffic accidents by implementing policies that prioritise safety for all road users. This includes reducing speed limits, adding bike lanes to streets, and implementing stiffer penalties for distracted driving.
By working together, we can all help to reduce the dangers posed by distracted drivers and keep cyclists safe on our roads.
Spreading Awareness through Social Media and Other Outlets
In addition to implementing safety policies, it is also important for communities to spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. One way to do this is through social media and other outlets such as blogs, podcasts, and even public service announcements.
By educating drivers about the risks of distraction and emphasising the need for cyclists’ safety, we can help reduce the number of serious and fatal accidents caused by distracted drivers.
Bicycle Accident Compensation
You may be eligible to file a bicycle car accident insurance claim for medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages in the event that another driver’s negligence or recklessness led to a bicycle accident.
It is important for cyclists involved in any type of collision to speak to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to assess the merits of their case and ensure they receive the compensation they are entitled to.
Distracted driving is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for cyclists on the roads. By taking steps to reduce distractions while driving, both drivers and cyclists can help keep each other safe.
Communities should also work together to implement safety policies, spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, and ensure that all road users are kept safe.
Cycle SOS has an expert team of cyclist solicitors who can provide legal advice, help negotiate settlements, and recover medical expenses and lost earnings on your behalf. If you want to learn more about our services or how to start your cycle accident compensation claim, please contact us at 0808 100 9995 to speak with one of our cycling accident solicitors. Alternatively, you can email us or schedule a callback.