Bicycle Safety: How To Keep Yourself Safe While Riding A Bicycle
With over 900 bicyclists killed while riding a bike in the United States in 2013, it is essential to understand how you can keep yourself safe as a bicyclist. While it is up to everyone on the road to pay attention and follow the rules, bicyclists are at a higher risk of injury, simply because they are virtually unprotected when hit by a motor vehicle. When you are prepared, you wear safety equipment, and you know the rules of the road, you are less likely to be injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle and a bicyclist.
Learn the Rules of the Road
In most states, the laws that pertain to motor vehicles are the same laws that govern the use of bicycles on the road with reasonable exceptions. You are expected to ride as close to the right as possible, to go with the flow of traffic, and to use turn signals when you are making a turn on your bike.
Clothing Should Be Reflective
To stay safe when riding a bike, you should wear clothing that is reflective. Many accidents occur as dusk begins to settle because bicyclists are harder to see by people driving motor vehicles. You should have plenty of reflectors on your bike as well. If you are riding in a particularly busy area, you can consider a flashing light on the back of your bike or helmet to attract the attention of passing motorists.
Pay Attention to Others on the Road
As a bicyclist, you should always be aware of your surroundings. Even when you know the rules of the road, give vehicles and other bicyclists plenty of room to pass you or make turns. A small mistake can result in a serious accident, so you are better off slowing down as you get into congested areas. You should avoid using headphones, which will only inhibit your ability to concentrate.
Wear a Helmet and Protective Clothing
To stay safe when riding a bicycle, you should wear a helmet, regardless of what the law states where you live. A helmet can help prevent a serious head injury, and many disabilities could be avoided if the person simply wore a bicycle helmet. If you are riding on a busy street, you should also wear protective clothing such as long pants and long sleeves to keep your skin protected if you fall.
If you have been hurt by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, it's time to talk with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury in your area. Together you can talk about the accident and determine if you have a viable personal injury lawsuit on your hands.