Bicycle accidents are becoming more and more common, at increasing risk to both commuters and recreational cyclers. Many such accidents cause serious injury for the cyclist, and it’s not uncommon for drivers to flee the scene. In many cases, accidents between cars and bikes can be fatal. While sharing the road always comes with some risks, there are a few things that cyclists can do to stay as safe as possible.
Know the Rules
The number one reason for bicycle accidents is that at least one of the involved parties isn’t following the rules of the road. Traffic laws exist to keep people safe, so you must follow them whether you’re in a car or on a bike. Cyclists are more likely to roll past stop signs, opening them up to collisions.
If you have a planned route, make sure you know it ahead of time so that you don’t have to stop and look at your phone or a map for directions. Make sure to check traffic before you leave so that you aren’t stuck in an unexpected situation that could result in a bicycle accident.
Learn how traffic moves on your route so that you aren’t taken by surprise.
Look the Part
One of the best ways to stay safe while cycling is to wear the right clothing. Dark clothing can cause you to be less visible to drivers. Always wear bright, contrasting colors when you’re on a bike. Reflective vests and jackets are also useful, especially if you are out at night or in the evening.
Never wear pants that are loose at the ankle when you’re riding, as the loose cloth can get caught in the bike chain and cause it to lock up. If you want, you can use a rubber band or a Velcro strap around your ankle to keep the fabric in place.
The other crucial part of clothing for a cyclist is a helmet. Not just any helmet, however. You’ll need a certified safe bicycle helmet that is replaced with a new one every five years or so. Certified bike helmets will come with an expiration date that shouldn’t be ignored. Helmets are most often made mainly of foam which can degrade over time. A helmet is the most important part of a cyclist’s wardrobe, and in the chance of a bicycle accident, they can be the difference between life and death.
Use the Right Technology
Technological advances have been huge in the past few years, and they can give cyclists serious safety advantages. Bright blinking lights can be attached to both the back of a helmet and on the bike itself. Lights on the seat, helmet, and handlebars can all help drivers distinguish a cyclist from the road in poor visibility conditions such as sunset, dusk, fog, or nighttime. Reflectors on the wheels and the body of the bike are also a good idea for maximum visibility.
Rearview mirrors a great tool for cyclists to limit their blind spots. They can be attached wither to the handles of a bike or the rim of a helmet. You can also get specialized cameras that attach to your bike and record the traffic around you. If you are the victim of a bicycle accident, these cameras can help identify the perpetrator of the accident. However, these cameras can be expensive.
If you or a loved one has been in a bicycle accident in Tampa, FL, and suffered an injury because of it, Rojas Law Group is here to help. To explore your legal options for an injury caused by someone’s negligence, contact Rojas Law Group for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Picture Credit: Freepik