Bicycling is perfect for getting exercise, enjoying the outdoors, and saving money on gas. However, it can also be extremely dangerous when it comes to automobile collisions. Each year, 2 percent of all automobile collision fatalities in the United States are bicyclists (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). In 2013, there were 900 bicyclist deaths and 494,000 injuries, which were caused by motor vehicle accidents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Our auto accident attorneys want you to take the necessary safety precautions when going for a bike ride.
- Make Yourself Visible
“A lot of accidents occur simply because bicyclists are so difficult to see,” explains 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
Head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities following a bicycle accident. Statistics show that a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the chances of a face or neck injury by 33 percent, and an injury to the head by 50 percent (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). Before a trip, it’s also important to make sure a bicycle’s brakes are working correctly, and its tire are properly inflated.
- Follow Traffic Laws
“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.”