Sunny, 70-degree weather has people from all over the country flocking to Arizona. Locals and winter visitors are taking advantage of every opportunity to get outdoors. Traffic has increased due to the sudden influx for both cyclists and drivers. Cycling events are thriving with at least one event per week and more now that the weather is maintaining idyllic conditions. With such events and traffic (both cars and cyclists alike) it is important to remember the rules for both drivers.
Accidents involving pedal-cyclers are prevalent in the Valley, with a total of 16 fatalities in 2016. Such information merits a civil and official duty to create bigger bike lanes for riders. Universities encourage students to bike around campus for economical and environmental reasons. Downtown Tempe is home to many young adults looking for effective ways to get to and from his or her destination. This instigation requires more action than is being warranted.
Cyclists have a responsibility to not only learn the laws of the road, but also to wear proper safety gear and maintain his or her bicycle so it is always up to highway standard. Cars are required to give at least three feet of space when passing a cyclist. Here are some vital safety rules for both cyclists and drivers under Arizona law:
• Stop for traffic lights and stop signs
• Always use a white headlight and a red rear reflector when you cycle after sunset or before sunrise
• Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks
• Before you turn or change lanes, look behind you, signal to show your plan to turn or change lanes, and yield to any traffic already there. Cyclists may signal their turns by extending either their left arm for a left turn or their right arm for a right turn
• Any vehicle moving slower than the normal traffic speed shall drive in the right-hand lane, or “as close as PRACTICABLE” to the right edge of the road, except when preparing to turn left or when passing
• Any vehicle on a two-lane road that has five or more vehicles behind it must pull off at the first safe pullout to allow the vehicles behind to proceed
• Special conditions that affect cyclists more than motorists are recognized in the law
• Riding two abreast is permitted by law
Source: Arizona Government of Highway Safety
Cities are required to maintain safe roadways and bike lanes for riders and drivers alike. Adaptability for an increase in population and riders is necessary. Safer precautions are needed with bike festivals and bicycle-friendly advertising on the rise. Drivers and riders need to be hyper aware of this while cities take time to plan for a safer future.
Statistics derived from: azbikelaw.org
If you have been injured in a cyclist accident, help is available from Phoenix Personal Injury Law Firm, Dault and Associates. Contact Us Today
Co-written by Elise Childers for DaultLaw