As summer temperatures continue heating up cyclists, pedestrians, children, and pets will become more and more active in and around Norfolk (as well as the rest of Virginia). Because of this, it is important that we share the road with more than just other cars.
- Be mindful of your passing speed: A study in the UK showed that a pedestrian is eight times more likely to be killed by a car when struck at 30 mph than at 20 mph. The obvious implication is to slow to cautious speeds when passing. Flooring it because a car is coming only proves it’s not the right time to pass safely.
- Give a wide berth: Virginia has set 3 feet as the motorist’s minimum legal distance for safely passing cyclists. This means that when passing a cyclist, there needs to be at least 3 feet of clearance. (Cyclists, this means you need to ride single file so that cars can pass without completely obstructing other lanes.)
- Indicate your intentions early: Cyclists and motorists should signal well before any turn or hazard so that others on the road can anticipate their intentions and act accordingly.
- Maintain 360 degrees of awareness: 38% of cycling fatalities in 2008 took place at intersections. Before initiating a turn, drivers need to focus attention on their rear-and side-view mirrors. Turning right? Look for cyclists along the curb who may be going straight.
- Ditch distractions: Cell phones and other distractions have increasingly been linked with accidents and fatalities over the years. Turning off your phone for the duration of time in the car could decrease your odds of an accident.
- Count to 2: Maintaining a decent follow-distance is as simple as counting to two. Start when a cyclist passes a landmark and count until you pass the same landmark. If you reach 2 full seconds this gives you 60 feet of space at 20 miles an hour. This is considered adequate time to brake in an emergency.
In the event of an accident with any motorist, pedestrian, or cyclist, you can rely on The Decker Law Firm to stand by your side through the entire legal process. Call 757.622.3317 today.