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Avoiding car accidents isn't all on vehicle drivers

Most of the time, when we think of a pedestrian-vehicle accident, the conclusion that's easy to jump to is that the driver of the vehicle was mostly to blame, if not completely. That's not a valid conclusion to reach.

Yes, a walker or a bicyclist is more likely to come out on the worst end of things in a collision with a vehicle of any size. The mere physics of the situation suggest that. But there are rules of the road that everyone is required to follow. If negligent behavior by any party results in injury to another, the victim's right to seek compensation exists. It doesn't matter if the person at fault happens to be on foot, two wheels or more.

Authorities in Fayetteville have had reason to reinforce a few basic rules of the road in recent weeks. This comes after a couple of notable instances picked up by the local paper.

In one, a group of people was seen chatting in the center turn lane of the street at the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. Even when a car pulled into the lane they didn't move. They just kept talking. The driver had to pull a zigzag maneuver to get into the parking lot.

In the second, a cyclist was using the center lane to cruise down the street. A driver looking to make a turn nearly missed him.

How these kinds of activities could happen outside the Sheriff's Office without any citations being issued is a question the news report doesn't address. But in response to the incidents, police offered these reminders.

  • If you're walking, be on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, the law says pedestrians should walk on the far left side of the road facing traffic. That helps walkers see and be seen.
  • If you're biking, stay to the right. The law says ride with traffic and as close to the edge as is safe. You can use a left turn lane on a road to turn left and you should end the turn in the left-most lane after the turn.

Officials also stress that a cyclist or pedestrian could be found to be at fault for a collision with a vehicle if they ignore the law.

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