Bike Riding Safety Tips
There were more than 800 bicyclist deaths in 2015. While this number is not as high as, say, motorcycle accident fatalities, it is still much higher than it should be. Cyclists, motorists, and even pedestrians could stand to learn a few valuable bike riding safety tips.
Thankfully, we are here to teach you how to stay safe while cycling. We are New Jersey’s premier wrongful death law firm and have learned a thing or two about safety over the years. Keep reading to find out valuable tips and don’t hesitate to call us today at 856-354-0900 if you have been in a bicycle accident.
Simple Steps to Stay Safe
Bicycle safety begins with the basics. Remember when your parents taught you how to ride a bike? They stressed things like wearing a helmet, staying alert, and always having some reflective lights on your bike or yourself. These, are as applicable today as they were when you were a child.
In addition to wearing protective gear, biking defensively, and staying visible, it is also important to use proper hand signaling (we will explore this more in a moment), go with the flow of traffic, bike like a car drives, avoid getting too distracted, obey traffic laws, make sure your bicycle is in good condition, and practice cycling best practices.
Going with the flow of traffic and riding like a car drives are especially important. Going with the flow of traffic means biking in the same direction that traffic is driving. While this does put traffic to your back, it also ensures vehicles will see you ahead of time. Riding your bicycle like a car drives means you should avoid weaving in and out of traffic. To quote our friends at the City of Madison: “drivers are used to the patterns of other drivers.”
Defensive Biking 101
Although defensive biking sounds fancy, it means something very simple in practice. Pay attention to cars, motorcycles, the road or path you are biking on, and your surroundings. This includes dogs and other dangerous animals that can bite you. Act proactively to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Defensive biking takes many different forms, but one common example is to slow down and move quickly away from a vehicle that is swerving or showing signs of the driver being intoxicated. This protects both yourself and the intoxicated driver from getting into an auto accident.
Other defensive biking actions you can take include: making eye contact with drivers, standing on the pedals of your bicycle to increase both your size and visibility and staying away from the edge of roads and sidewalks.
Making sure to use proper hand signaling while bicycling is another smart way to stay safe. There are numerous hand signals, not all of which are created equal. You likely will not need to know or use the “move over and pay attention” signal. You likely will need to know and use the left and right turn signals, though.
Cycling hand signals are not without their detractors. Some individuals argue that they are confusing and outdated. It is still worth using them whatever your particular opinion may be.
Following these tips will keep you safe on the road. That does not mean that accidents do not happen, though. Contact us today if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. We have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients. The next big win could be yours.