Riding your bicycle should be a pleasant experience—not a dangerous or life-threatening one. During a season when outdoor activity is more fun and accessible than ever before, it’s no wonder that bike riding is on the rise. With the increasing popularity of cycling, the NHTSA has noted a simultaneous increase in bicycle accidents. In fact, the NHTSA reports that bicycle accidents are 75 percent more likely in urban areas, where there is more traffic.
Whether you mount your bicycle in a casual or professional setting, it’s important to be mindful of other riders—especially drivers—on the road. In some situations, it can be difficult for a driver to spot a cyclist. When sharing the road with a driver, a cyclist’s appropriate and timely reaction can help them avoid an accident. In situations where avoidance is impossible, these five tips will help you protect yourself as a cyclist, minimizing your injury and injury to those around you.
Stay within designated bike lanes.
When you’re riding in an urban area or an area with heavy traffic, be mindful of your surroundings and ride within the designated bike lanes. These are in place to help you maintain a safe distance from drivers on the road.
Follow the rules of the road.
Although you may be tempted to swerve between vehicles or ride through intersections without care, it’s imperative that you follow the same rules as drivers do. For example, stop at all stop signs, look all ways before entering an intersection, and abide by all traffic lights. Failure to comply may result in catastrophic injury.
Before you ride, verify that your bicycle is fit for you and for the road.
Many accidents are caused by the malfunction of a bicycle, causing said bike to swerve into traffic. This can be caused by faulty brakes, a tire with low air pressure, or a bicycle whose height is inappropriate for the cyclist.
Always be aware of the drivers and the environment. Know when you’re in the blind spot of a nearby car or truck, and proceed with caution. Especially when you’re in a driver’s blind spot, be prepared to swerve away from traffic.
Pay attention to your environment and pedestrians, not just drivers.
Traffic is not the only hazard on the road. A cycling accident can be caused by a cyclist’s ignorance. Failure to reroute at the sight of a pothole or pedestrian can result in injury to the cyclist and to others.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of a bicycle accident?
As careful as you try to be, accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured by another driver in Jacksonville, Florida, contact the personal injury attorneys at Harrell & Harrell. We’re here for our clients, helping to transform their pain and fear into healing and hope.