Turning on Red? Bicyclists, Watch Out!August 13, 2018 | Category: Bike Accidents, Firm News | Share
Bicyclists are often involved in right-on-red accidents in the United States, reports Bicyclesafe.com. A common incident, according to it, is one in which the bicyclist stops to the right of a vehicle that is already waiting at a red light or stop sign. The driver cannot see the bicyclist. When the vehicle turns right on red, the bicyclist is injured or killed.
The Florida driver’s manual says that motorists may make right turns on red lights in many instances. Before doing so, however, they must “come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection. After stopping, you may turn right on red at most intersections if the way is clear.” Some intersections display a "NO TURN ON RED" sign, which must be obeyed.
Bill Schultheiss, a civil engineer at Toole Design Group which specializes in planning and designing landscapes to make biking and walking possible, says that it was not until the 1970s that drivers were allowed to turn right during the red signal phase. It became common across the country.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 required states to allow right turns on red to receive certain federal funds. The reason for this was that drivers turning right on red could save gas.
In the 1980s the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found an increase in bike crashes of 100 percent and pedestrian-related crashes of 60 percent because of right-on-red laws. Over an 11-year study period, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) says that 924 people were killed in right-on-red crashes, more than 500 of which were killed biking and walking.
Schultheiss from Bicyclesafe.com says that it is time to rethink right-on-red as the default in densely populated places. He further believes that challenging 40 years of bad design habits, prohibiting rights on red is “a paperwork nightmare” so engineers are reluctant to do it.
In “How not to get hit by cars” - Bicyclesafe.com says that drivers are not expecting bikes to be in the crosswalk, and it is hard for them to see bikes because of the nature of turning from one street to another. This collision during right turns is so common that the number of those near-misses or collisions are hard to track.
Fort Myers Bike Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey says, “Motorists have a responsibility of being alert to their environment when driving. There are potential accidents waiting to happen every time motorists get behind the wheel, and bicyclists are particularly vulnerable. Should you or a loved one be injured in an accident, please call our experience legal team. We are available 24/7 to assist you.”
Fort Myers Bike Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.