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3 road safety guidelines to keep motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists safe this summer

| June 29, 2020, 11:06 AM

The Maryland Department of Transportation reported motor vehicle accidents on the State’s roadways claimed 530 lives in 2019, an increase of 3.7% from 512 deaths in 2018,  according to the LocalDVM. Speeding and impaired driving are common causes of road accidents, but  distracted driving in Maryland accounts for a large percentage of car crash deaths and injuries.

Following the death of Arthur Herbert Carter Jr., who died after an SUV driver crossed into a lane full of bicycles, government officials and bicycle advocates stress that drivers and riders should obey traffic laws. As temperatures rise and streets become busy, all road users must take precautions to enhance safety.

Follow Traffic Rules

Bicycle laws in Maryland state that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as automobile drivers. To improve road safety, cyclists must obey traffic control infrastructures like lane markings, stop signs, and traffic signals. They should also use hand signals to notify drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists about their intentions to make a turn or stop.

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On the other hand, drivers should allow a minimum space of three feet when passing a cyclist. Equally important, be sure you are clear of bicycle riders before turning or changing lanes.

Know What to Do After an Accident

It’s hard to tell when an accident will occur on area roads. That is why you should be prepared to ensure you can handle mishaps in the best possible way. There are several  steps to take following an accident, including waiting at the scene, calling 911, and staying calm. It is also vital to check if passengers, pedestrians, or cyclists involved in the accident are safe.

Also, get appropriate medical care, no matter how minor the accident seems. Keep in mind most injuries are hard to detect immediately after a collision. A doctor will conduct tests to determine if you require special treatment and write a detailed medical report to help you file a claim with insurers. Having a physician examine you and write an official report will help you if you are considering  securing compensation for car accident injuries

Practice Roadside Safety

According to Corporal Dominic Scali of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Bicycle Unit, “It is important for road users to understand what they should expect from each other out there on the roadway.” This translates to ensuring safety and care on the road, whether you are driving or cycling. Cyclists, for example, should avoid riding near motor vehicles or clinging to them.

Traffic authorities also prohibit wearing earplugs or headsets on both ears while you ride. If you are a car driver, consider  implementing defensive driving tactics to reduce the risk of fatalities. Defensive driving entails being aware of your surroundings and focus on the road to avoid anything unexpected or crazy that may cause an accident.

Whether you are a cyclist, driver, or pedestrian, it is your responsibility to improve road safety. Pedestrians can achieve the best results by ensuring they are visible when using crosswalks. Cyclists should be cautious of drivers attempting to turn or open car doors. As a driver, you need to be mindful of vulnerable road users and drive defensively.

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Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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