Riding bicycles is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors, get exercise, and save money on gas. Unfortunately, bicyclists are also at a significantly high risk for collisions with automobiles. Each year in the United States, bicyclists make up 2 percent of all automobile collision deaths (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). In 2013, motor vehicle accidents caused over 900 bicyclist deaths and 494,000 injuries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
In order to increase road safety, our auto accident attorneys want bicyclists to remember these important tips.
- Make Yourself Visible
“A lot of accidents occur simply because bicyclists are so difficult to see,” says Mike Wyatt, auto accident attorney. “Never ride against the flow of traffic. Keep in the right lane and ride in the same direction as other motor vehicles. Use the bicycle lane if one is available. Wear bright colors or reflective tape whether you’re riding in the daytime, dawn, or dusk. When riding at night, make sure there are reflectors or flashing lights positioned on the front, back, and tires of your bicycle.”
- Wear a Helmet
The majority of bicyclist fatalities are caused by head injuries. Recent studies have shown that wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the chances of a head injury by 50 percent, and an injury to the face or neck by 33 percent (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Bicyclists should also check their brakes, and make sure their tires are properly inflated.
- Obey the Rules of the Road
“Bicycles are classified as vehicles, which means bicyclists have the same responsibilities as other motorists,” says Scott Mann, auto accident attorney. “In order to increase safety, bicyclists must obey all traffic signals, signs, and lane markings. Come to complete stops at stop signs, and yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. You also shouldn’t weave in and out of traffic. Ride in a straight line, look before turning, and let other motorists know by signaling left or right.”