Biking has become more than a recreational activity for many Americans. More people are riding their bikes around town to go to work, run errands, or meet friends. Although riding a bicycle is a fun form of transportation that can help you stay fit, it comes with risks. Due to the lack of protection surrounding bicyclists, they can easily suffer catastrophic injury or even death in an accident. Understanding the potential dangers of cycling and practicing these bicycle safety tips from The Team At Stanley Law can help you avoid serious accidents involving motorists, pedestrians, and other bicyclists.
Keep your bike in good working order
Before you hit the road, always make sure your bike is in good repair, your brakes are working properly, and your tires are inflated at the right level. Practice optimal safety to avoid bicycling accidents by adding equipment to your bike that makes you more visible to others, such as:
- A headlight and rear light
- A rearview mirror
- A bell or horn
- Wheel reflectors
- Reflective tape on the body of your bike
Wear the right gear
It’s easy for drivers not to notice bicyclists on the road, especially if the motorists are distracted. Always wear bright clothing and use the reflectors and lights on your bike. Wearing shorts, leggings, or using a clip-on your pant leg can keep your clothing from becoming caught in your bike’s wheels. The most important piece of gear you can wear is a good quality helmet that’s properly fitted and fastened. According to the National Safety Council, one-third of nonfatal injuries in bicyclists are head wounds. Helmets are vital when it comes to preventing minor and serious trauma.
Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings is a critical part of bicycle safety. It’s important to listen to the sounds of traffic around you. Don’t ever ride your bike with headphones on and keep your hands near the brakes so you’re ready to stop if someone steps into the road or a car pulls out in front of you. When riding next to parked cars, always look ahead to avoid being injured by someone opening a car door. If you see that someone is opening a door, don’t swerve into traffic — attempt to come to a complete stop or just hit the door. The chances of surviving this type of accident are much better than being hit by an oncoming car. It’s also important to keep an eye out for any possible hazards in the road such as potholes, branches, or other debris.
Obey the rules of the road
Bicyclists are required to follow all traffic signals and laws just like motorists are. Stay on the right side of the road and ride with the flow of traffic, but don’t pass vehicles on the right side, as they may not be able to see you. Make sure you know all hand signals and use them well in advance of turning. If you need to make a left turn in heavy traffic, get off your bike and walk it across the crosswalk. Although it can be tempting when no one is around, avoid running stop signs and red lights. Taking a few seconds to pause and practice caution could save your life.
How a lawyer can help if you’ve been injured
Even bikers that conscientiously practice bicycle safety can be involved in accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by a careless driver, pedestrian, or hazardous road condition with inadequate warning signs, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. If a loved one was killed by someone else’s negligence while cycling, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and advise you on how to move forward. If you’re a bike messenger or delivery person who was injured in the course of your duties, a workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you with obtaining workers’ comp benefits.
Contact a bicycle accident attorney
Joe Knows how traumatic being hurt or losing someone in a bicycle accident can be. At Stanley Law Offices, our team works to get you the MAXIMUM AWARD you deserve to make things right and protect your physical and financial stability. Don’t go it alone. Phone us at 1-800-608-3333 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We have offices in Syracuse, Watertown, Rochester, or Binghamton, New York, and Montrose, Pennsylvania. Members of our team are also fluent in Spanish.