How To Be A Safe Cyclist / How To Avoid A Bicycle Accident
The best way to avoid bicycle accident injuries is to educate yourself about the common ways bicycle accidents occur. It is a statistically proven fact that a majority of these crashes happen after dark. Always remember to wear a helmet and to have reflectors.
Most bicycle accidents happen when a car pulls out of a driveway or into an intersection without looking for bicycles. These types of accidents can be difficult to avoid but it can help to have a headlight on your bike at night. You should also consider wearing bright reflective gear at all times.
Take it upon yourself to be extra attentive when riding and to assume that car drivers are not looking for you and may not see you. This would definitely mean limiting or completely avoiding distractions such as the use of personal headphones or headsets, cell phones and other entertainment devices while on the bike.
Ride With Traffic
Riding against traffic puts you in a position of surprising oncoming cars. Riding with traffic allows car drivers to see you and to have a longer period of time to react.
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
If you pull up alongside a car at an intersection, make sure you are not in the driver’s blind spot. Pull up all the way to the passenger window where you can be easily seen. Otherwise the driver may turn right into you without knowing you are there.
Be Careful If You Choose To Ride On The Sidewalk
If you enter an intersection from the sidewalk you may be putting yourself at risk. Most car drivers will not be expecting a fast moving bike to enter the road from the sidewalk. If you ride on the road you will be visible. If you ride on the sidewalk you may be hidden behind foliage or parked vehicles.
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
Even if you have the right-of-way you cannot assume it is safe to move to the left without looking behind you. Car drivers tend to assume that you are going to ride in a straight line. Swerving or moving to the left without looking first can be very dangerous.
Do Not Wear Earphones
It is important that you hear all the traffic around you. If you are listening to music you may miss a car coming up from behind you.
Many bicyclists get into accidents in spite of taking numerous precautions. Often times, the accident is not the rider’s fault, but occurs because motorists tend to forget or do not care that they are sharing the road with cyclists who have a legal right to be there.
If you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact the Bernard Law Group. We will conduct a thorough and independent accident investigation, analyze all facets of your case, and make sure you receive fair compensation for all 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!