Riding bikes gives us a chance to exercise outside and save money on gas. Unfortunately, collisions with automobiles are a very serious threat to bicyclists. In the United States, bicyclists account for 2 percent of all automobile collision fatalities each year (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). In 2013 alone, traffic accidents claimed the lives of over 900 bicyclists and caused 494,000 injuries (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Our auto accident attorneys want bicyclists and motorists to remember these tips to increase road safety.
- Make Yourself Seen
“A lot of accidents occur simply because bicyclists are so difficult to see,” Mike Wyatt explains, 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
Since most fatalities in bicycle accidents are due to head injuries, wearing a properly fitted helmet is of the utmost importance. Studies show that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of a head injury by 50 percent, and an injury to the face or neck by 33 percent (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). You should also check your brakes and make sure tires are properly inflated before going on a ride.
- Obey the Laws of Traffic
“Bicycles are classified as vehicles, which means bicyclists have the same responsibilities as other motorists,” Scott Mann says, 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.”