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What is the bicycle buffer zone?

When bicyclists are sharing the roadway with motor vehicles, the vehicles must ensure that they are keeping a safe distance between the bicycle and their vehicle. When this distance isn't kept, there is a greater chance that the bicyclist will be struck and suffer from injuries.

What is the bicycle buffer zone?

The bicycle buffer zone is a series of painted lines that separate the bicycle lane on the roadway from the vehicle lanes. In some cases, the buffer zone might have painted bicycles in the zone. This is even helpful if the bicycle lane is near parking spots because it allows the bicyclists to ride safely without having to worry about people in the vehicle who open a door.

Are there any dangers to buffer zones?

Because of the way in which buffer zones are integrated with traffic lanes and parking spots, it is sometimes necessary for drivers to drive close to the buffer zone. This is often the case when a driver is attempting to park in a parking spot. When a driver must drive close to a buffer zone, he or she must ensure that no bicyclists are using the bicycle lane on the other side of the buffer zone. This can help to prevent accident involving bicycles.

Even though buffer zones have done a great deal to prevent bicyclists from being injured, it is still possible that an accident will occur. In that case, one key point of the bicyclist's case for compensation would be showing what happened when the accident occurred. This might entail reconstructing the accident to show that the driver did come into or cross the buffer zone.

Source: FindLaw, "Bicycle Buffer Zone Laws," accessed May 24, 2016

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