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NHTSA Reminds Us: Share the Road to Save Lives

NHTSA Safety Campaign – Share the Road

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a reminder as temperatures start to rise that it is important to Share the Road. When spring hits Northern California, we see many more bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians on the roads. The increase in foot and bike traffic often also brings an unfortunate increase in deadly traffic accidents that involve those more vulnerable travelers.

Share the Road to Prevent Fatalities

Over the past 10 years, more Americans have chosen to ride bicycles and walk as an alternative to driving a motor vehicle. During that same period of time, cyclist and pedestrian deaths caused by vehicle-related crashes have been on the upswing. 

  • In 2018, there were 857 bicycle fatalities caused by vehicle-related collisions, representing a 6% increase from the prior year.
  • In 2018, 6,283 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents, which was a 3% increase from the prior year. It also represented the most annual pedestrian deaths since 1990.
  • There is some good news.  In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents, representing a nearly 5% decrease from 2017.

By making it a priority to safely share the roads, it will help everyone reach their destinations unharmed. No class of traveler has priority rights to the road. We all share responsibilities.

Drivers – Be Aware

Motorists should always keep in mind that motorcyclists and bicyclists possess the same rights as motor vehicle drivers. Given that the modes of transportation are smaller and less visible, their presence can present special safety challenges. Constantly keeping in mind that it is not just other passenger vehicles of which a driver needs to be aware can help. Intersections are especially dangerous for bicyclists.

Pedestrians also have rights when they are in the roadway. When approaching an intersection with a crosswalk, always slow your vehicle and be on the lookout. If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, vehicles must yield. Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk, since it is quite possible the driver is letting people that you may not be able to see cross the street. Other scenarios that can be dangerous for pedestrians are when vehicles are reversing out of driveways or in parking lots.

Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Motorcyclists – Share the Road

Those who use the roads outside of a vehicle must also obey traffic rules, signals, and signs. Given the vulnerability of traveling outside of a passenger vehicle, it is important to walk and ride defensively.  Always assume that motorists cannot see you. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by your mobile device, and keep your sense of hearing by not listening to music with earphones. If you are riding a bike, proceed in the direction of traffic, use bike lanes when possible, and only ride on the sidewalk if absolutely necessary. 

Pedestrians should remain on the sidewalk when one is available. When there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far away from cars as you can get. Whenever possible, cross streets at areas with marked crosswalks. If there are no crosswalks, cross at a corner or intersection that has adequate lighting.

CalTrans also has worked on a Share the Road campaign.  Watch their YouTube video below. 

Turlock, California Wrongful Death Lawyer

Hello. I’m Ed Smith, a wrongful death lawyer in Turlock, California. Losing a loved one in a traffic collision is a devastating experience. In addition to heartache, it can cause serious financial issues for the surviving family members. If the wrongful death was caused by another party’s negligence, the family would benefit from promptly seeing experienced legal counsel. Having someone else handle the intricacies of a legal matter associated with the death can leave the family time and space to grieve.

For compassionate, free, and friendly advice from skilled injury lawyers, call our office to schedule a no-obligation consultation at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.

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