Bike lanes are designed to keep cyclists safe. Not all roads have them. Where they don’t exist, cyclists attempt to share the road, often riding as close as they can to the right hand side of the lane. But having a dedicated bike lane should theoretically help traffic move more smoothly and reduce incidents between cars and cyclists on the same roadways.
Unfortunately, many bike lanes are just painted lines on the road. Some are white, while others are painted bright colors like green to make them more visible. But if these lanes are not protected with physical barriers, drivers can still violate the lanes and cause accidents.
Turning without a blinker
For example, drivers who are turning right need to move through the bike lane in order to do so. They should check to make sure there is not a cyclist in the lane and then use their blinker to signal their intentions. But many drivers do not use their blinkers and do not check for cyclists, instead only focusing on other cars around them. This can cause accidents because a cyclist has no idea that the driver is about to turn until their bike is struck in the cycling lane.
Parking in the lane
Another common violation is that people will park their cars in the bike lane. They will even do this in places that are clearly no parking zones. Many drivers are just so used to parking on the side of the road that they don’t give the bike lane a second thought. But this can cause accidents because it forces cyclists to move out into the traffic lanes unexpectedly, or they could even strike the parked cars.
Bike lanes are helpful, but you can see that they are not perfect at keeping cyclists safe. Those who have been injured by negligent drivers may be able to seek financial compensation.