How To Be A Safe Cyclist / How To Avoid A Bicycle Accident
Educating yourself about the ways in which a bicycle accident can occur is the best way to attempt to avoid being injured on the road. Statistics indicate that most bicycle accidents happen after dark. It’s important to remember to wear a helmet, and to have reflectors, a light, and perhaps a reflective vest
The standard rule of thumb is to see and be seen. Safe cyclists watch what’s going on around them, and take pains to ensure they are as visible as possible. A very common type of accident, that is difficult to avoid, is when a cyclist is hit by a motorist who pulls out of a driveway or enters an intersection without looking. Having a headlight on your bike at night can greatly increase your visibility under these circumstances.
Always assume that motorists are not looking for you, and that they cannot see you. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by the use of headsets, headphones, cell phones, or any other entertainment or communication devices while you are on your bike.
Ride With Traffic
If you ride against the flow of traffic, you run the risk of surprising drivers in oncoming cars. Ride with traffic so that drivers have a longer period of time to react to your presence.
Do Not Ride Too Close To Newly Parked Vehicles
One of the most common bicycle accidents happens when a car door is suddenly opened in the path of an oncoming bike. Drivers often forget to check their mirrors before opening their door, and bicyclists pay the consequence. Make sure you keep a healthy distance from vehicles that still have the parking lights on or that have just pulled into a parking space.
Avoid Blind Spots
When pulling up alongside a car at an intersection, move all the way up to the passenger window. There, you can be easily seen, farther back, and you may be sitting in the driver’s blind spot unobserved.
Be Careful If You Choose To Ride On The Sidewalk
Motorists do not expect vehicles to enter the flow of traffic from the sidewalk. For this reason, many cyclists are struck by oncoming cars when they attempt to cross intersections from the sidewalk. Remember that while on the sidewalk, you are not clearly visible. Your presence may be hidden by foliage, parked vehicles, or even pedestrians.
Do Not Pass On The Right
Passing slow moving vehicles on the right-hand side increases the chances of riding in someone’s blind spot. You don’t want to start to pass someone and then have him or her turn into you.
Always Look Before Changing Lanes Or Turning
Slow moving vehicles that pass on the right side of cars are most assuredly in the driver’s blind spot. Positioning yourself in this dangerous area greatly increases the chances that the driver will turn without seeing you.
Do Not Wear Earphones
An awareness of the traffic around you is crucial. Do not listen to music while you are riding. You need to be able to hear the cars approaching you from behind.
Accidents occur even when all of the proper precautionary measures are observed. In most cases, the accident is not the cyclist’s fault. Motorists forget that bikers have a legal right to be on the road, and that they are actually sharing the roadway with these lighter, more vulnerable vehicles.
If you are injured in a bicycle-related accident due to the negligence of another, please consider contacting the Bernard Law Group. We will conduct a thorough and independent accident investigation, analyze all aspects of your case and seeking fair compensation on your behalf for your injuries, damages, and losses.
IF YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT IN WASHINGTON – CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!