This past summer I took a case for a Corning, NY, bicyclist who was hit by a car. The vehicle pulled away from the curb without noticing oncoming traffic.
I took the deposition of the driver of that car and she admitted that she never looked in her driver’s side mirror to check for oncoming cars or bikes. She said that she thought looking in the rearview mirror only was OK because: “I would have seen something as big as a car.”
She never considered that she should have looked in her sideview mirror as well – to make sure that there wasn’t an oncoming bike rider.
This proves my point that most motorists only think they need to be on the lookout for other cars or truck, therefore they simply are not looking for anything smaller or slower-moving, such as bikes or pedestrians. That’s why I think driver education needs to stress vigilance – watching out for bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians is more important than ever.
Akin to driver education is signage or other methods of reminding drivers to be on the lookout for bikes so they don’t cause an accident. I recently read about a new product that’s just brilliant. It’s cheap, easy to use and has the potential to remind countless drivers to keep an eye out for bicyclists.
Vigilante Velo, a non-profit group, has developed subtle, clear “bicyclist” decals that can be stuck to side-view mirrors. Without blocking the driver’s vision at all, these unobtrusive stickers are a reminder, every time a driver checks his side view mirror, to check for bicyclists.
I came across this tip at The Chicago Bike Advocate Blog by Brendan Kevenides. VigilantVelo.com sells the stickers – not yet available in stores – for $2 each. All proceeds of sticker sales will go to “printing more and a donation to the League of American Bicyclists,” according to VigilantVelo.com. Buy in bulk and save: It’s $18 for 1o stickers and $200 for 200.
These simple stickers are a great idea. It’s so easy to take that extra second to look. A little extra vigilance from drivers could save the health or life of many a bicyclist.
Thanks for reading and RIDE SAFELY,
James B. Reed, Esq.
NY & PA Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14901
Tel: (607) 733-8866
Fax: (607) 732-6062
Toll Free: 1-800-943-3529
Please visit the New York Injury Law Blog at www.NYInjuryLawBlog.com
E-mail me at FreeReports@zifflaw.com for two free books:
NY Car Accidents and NY Car Insurance Secrets YOU Need to Know.
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