Bicycle Lanes Reduce Houston Bike Accidents
Written by Greg on August 29, 2019
Bicycle accidents are all too common on our roadways. When a car or truck collides with a bicycle, the injuries are often severe or life-threatening. With more and more people traveling by bike, Houston continues to make changes to make bicycling safer. One of the ways to reduce accidents is with the use of bike lanes, also known as bikeways. According to Bike Houston, the city is designing new infrastructure and plans to accommodate safer bicycling.
What are Bikeways?
Bikeways are lanes that are designed specifically to accommodate bicycles. They are designated spaces that are narrower than lanes for motorized vehicles. Bike lanes are placed between the curb and the lane of motorized traffic or the parking lane. The important thing about bike lanes is that they protect bicyclists by giving them their own space to travel and by keeping them as far away from motorists as possible. Protected bicycle lanes may utilize a variety of features to separate bikes from traffic such as the use of curbs and planters.
It takes time and planning to design bikeways. The city must evaluate the specific needs of the area and determine the placement for the lanes. Then, the streets and intersections have to be revised to include proper space for bicycles. Construction for one bike lane area was recently completed in the near north side of Houston. The design includes bicycle lanes on Hardy and Elysian, an area that previously had a high rate of bicycle accidents. Bike Houston indicates that a partnership between community organizations, businesses, and the government helped to get the bikeway completed.
Both bicyclists and motorists need to pay attention to the road and watch for each other while driving. The rules of the road apply to bicycles and motorized vehicles. Drivers must be aware that they share the road and watch out for bikes, particularly in areas with blind spots and without bike lanes. Bicyclists should ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as close to the curb as possible. If there is a bike lane, bicycles should remain in this designated area.
Doorings are one of the most common hazards for bicyclists, especially in urban areas. Doorings occur when a vehicle driver opens the door when a bicyclist is nearby. The bicyclist has no time to stop to avoid the crash. These types of accidents can cause severe injuries and are caused by the inattention of the vehicle driver. Drivers must always check before they open their door to prevent doorings. Bicyclists should wear protective headgear. When riding at night, bikes must have adequate lights and reflectors. Always be aware of drivers and do not wear headphones while on your bicycle. If you are hurt in an accident, contact the police and seek medical care immediately.
Then, contact a Houston accident attorney to assist you with your claim. You may be owed money for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial evaluation of your case- Call 281-587-1111!