Five Ways to Prevent a Bicycle Accident
Posted on November 2021
Biking will never go out of style. It is an amazing way to sightsee, get exercise, and commute. It is an invaluable tool for kids to learn and opens up many doors for friendships, money-saving opportunities, and discovery. When you first learned to bike, it was probably on a quiet neighborhood street, or maybe even in a cul-de-sac. There weren’t cars and pedestrians to worry about, only the sidewalk ahead, and the adult pushing you behind.
Now, as an adult, you have much more to consider when you bike. Read on to find out how you can prevent a life-changing bicycle accident.
1) Always Wear a Helmet
It may not be trendy or attractive, but wearing a helmet is the number one way to stay safe on the roads. Not only will a helmet keep you safe in the event an accident occurs, it will also put you in a safety mindset. When you get ready to bike and include a helmet in your routine, you are reminding yourself to obey the rules of the road, and bike in a safe manner. Wearing a helmet is the most critical step to prioritizing your safety.
2) Don’t Ride Wearing Headphones
As nice as it is to cruise with music, riding your bike while using headphones is not safe. For the same reasons drivers cannot wear headphones when driving, bikers shouldn’t. It is critical you use all available senses to stay safe on the roads. Hearing things like school children, the sound of brakes, or a crosswalk signal could be the difference between life and death.
3) Keep Both Hands on the Handlebars
For most kids, riding a bike without touching the handlebars is a status symbol — an indication of real skill. But, as an adult biker, riding a bike with no hands isn’t cool, it’s dangerous. When you’re riding on the road, often the only time you can see road hazards like potholes is when you are nearly on top of them. By the time you realize you should put both hands on the handlebars, it’s far too late, and you’re toppling over. Keeping both hands on the handlebars greatly increases your balance, your control over turning, and your ability to make small, quick, and critical biking decisions.
4) Wear Bright Clothing, Even in the Daytime
Most bikers know to wear bright clothing during nighttime to enhance their visibility. However, wearing bright clothing in the daytime is just as important. Imagine a driver on their daily morning or afternoon commute. They drive the same route every day, at the same time, in the same place. They are likely to “tune out” their surroundings. A biker in their rearview mirror will probably not grab their attention as they change the radio, or daydream about what they’re making for dinner. Wearing a neon color or reflective items will make you stand out, and increase the chances that a driver will pay attention to your movements, and adjust their driving to keep you safe.
5) Minimize Riding On the Sidewalk
If you’re a bicyclist trying to avoid an accident with a car, your first inclination, naturally, is to avoid cars. That means using the sidewalk. The sidewalk is meant for pedestrians and is well insulated from large motor vehicles. However, the inclination to ride on the sidewalk is dangerous. While riding on the sidewalk will increase the distance between you and cars, it ultimately increases the danger of bike riding. How? Drivers are paying attention to the road, not the sidewalk. If and when the sidewalk ends, as a biker, you’ll have to exit the sidewalk and start riding on the road. A driver who was not paying attention to you is likely to hit you as you make the transition onto the road.
The best place for bicyclists to ride is on the road. On the road, you are in a driver’s line of sight, and they should be paying attention to you. They will watch as you slow down, make turns, and change lanes, and will be able to yield to you when necessary.
Call Us Today
If you are a bicyclist that has been hurt in an accident that was not your fault, call DeMayo Law Offices today. Our team of bicycle accident lawyers knows the law surrounding your accident inside and out, and we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team leads with compassion. We know that being harmed as a bicyclist is a particularly harrowing experience, as you are completely vulnerable to vehicles and severe physical pain.
We will talk you through every step of the claims process, and help you obtain the compensation you need to heal from this experience. Call us today at (877) 333-1000.