Many roads in the country do not have bike lanes or areas designated specifically for bikers, but New York City residents are likely very familiar with the white painted stripes on the side of the road reserved for cyclists. But exactly how these lanes work may be confusing for some, especially if you must open your door into a bike lane. Proper knowledge of bike buffer zones can prevent accidents and injuries caused by cyclists and drivers alike.
The first thing to note is that the purpose of the bike buffer zone is to provide extra safety and comfort for bikers by ensuring that they are not required to ride immediately beside cars. Drivers should be aware that these bike buffer zones and lanes are not shoulders, and should not be entered while the car is in motion. If you are driving down the road and you strike a biker who is in the bike lane, there is a very strong chance that you will be found liable for the accident.
Additionally, these bike buffer zones often ensure that bikers are not too close to vehicles that are parked on the side of the road. If everyone is in the correct zone, drivers should be able to open their doors to enter or exit their vehicles, and cyclists should be safe from striking the door or the driver.
When used correctly, bike lanes and bike buffer zones should go a long way in protecting bikers from the large cars and trucks with which they share the road. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the rules when it comes to these lanes, and some cars accidentally cross into the bike lane. If you have been injured by a vehicle that violated the bike lane or bike buffer zone, consider meeting with an attorney to learn how you could recover compensation for any injuries you suffered.