Bicycle Safety & Accident Prevention
Adequate bicycle safety and accident prevention requires the efforts of bicyclists, motor vehicle drivers, and law enforcement.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reminds drivers of the importance of sharing the road with bicyclists and showing them respect on the roadways. They recommend that cars and trucks leave at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road and to look out for bicyclists when opening doors, pulling into driveways, crossing intersections, etc.
While drivers can do a lot to prevent bicycle accidents, often it falls on cyclists to protect themselves from accidents on the roads. The following are some ways you can protect yourself.
- Always wear a helmet. A properly fitted bicycle helmet should be worn by all bicycle riders; no matter how old, where you ride, or how long you ride. Because bicyclists are so exposed on the road, head injuries afflict thousands of riders every year. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury in a bicycle accident.
- Follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators in the eyes of traffic laws. As such, they are required to observe all laws that vehicles are obliged to observe. This includes obeying traffic signs, signals and lane markers, right-of-way rules, and using common sense and respect for others.
- Ride with Traffic. When cycling in the street, bikers are required to ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Ride as if you were invisible to others. This does not equate to making yourself invisible! Quite the opposite, you want to always stay as visible as possible when riding. BUT-never assume that a car or truck driver sees you. It is always better to err toward caution and wait to cross the street or take a turn until you are certain you're not at risk for being hit by an inattentive motorist.
- Increase your Visibility. You an further increase your visibility while biking by wearing florescent, brightly colored, and/or reflective clothing at all times during the day. For night rides, use a front light and a red reflector or flashing light at the rear. Use retro-reflective tape or markings on clothing and equipment as well.
In some case, no amount of bicycle safety precautions can prevent an accident from happening. If you or a loved one has been in a bicycle accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and suffering from the parties responsible. A qualified attorney can review your case to determine liability and how best to assist you in recovering your damages and losses. Please contact us for a free bike accident case evaluation.