Bicycle Safety Is Encouraged As City Cycling Hits New Heights
With a shift to create a greener environment, Americans are increasingly bicycling to commute, for exercise, or just for fun. Bicycles on the roadway have the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles, which causes an increase in fatalities. Auto-related bicycle crashes account for 2 percent of all traffic deaths and 2 percent of all crash-related injuries in 2014. That’s why authorities encourage safer choices, to reduce deaths and injuries on the roads.
Here are some safety tips for a safe cycling experience
The majority of bicycling deaths are due to head injury, which is why wearing a helmet is so important. Wearing a helmet is estimated to reduce odds of head injury by 50 percent. To ensure a proper fit, you should try different manufacturers. We encourage all cyclists to wear a properly fitting helmet. Here is a comprehensive list of helmet sizes www.bhsi.org.
Prepare for your Ride
Be sure to ride a bike that fits you. The wrong size bike is harder to control.
Ride a bike that works properly
A bike with functioning brakes and aligned wheels helps the rider maintain control.
Wear protective equipment
A helmet, bright clothing, reflective gear and bike reflectors to help motorist see you. Do not give rides to children on a bicycle unless it’s equipped with a toddler seat. It helps with control as you can keep both hands on the handlebars.
Carry items in a backpack
You can also carry personal items in a saddlebag or basket strapped to the bicycle.
Secure your shoelaces
Tie and tuck your laces into your shoes. Doing this will help prevent them from getting caught in chain causing you to fall or crash.
Plan your route
Make sure you use routes with lower speed limits and less traffic. Find bike lanes or bike paths to get you to your destination.
Focus on the Road
Defensive driving is the key when riding a bicycle alongside motorists. It can be difficult to anticipate what others may do, so we encourage you to stay alerted and assume drivers don’t see you.
Obey street signs
Look for hazards or any other situations to avoid that may cause you to crash and fall.
Do not text or wear headphones. Keep your eyes on the road and stay alert.
Ride in your designated lane
Check your local laws to make sure sidewalk riding is legal. Drivers don’t usually expect moving traffic on a sidewalk. Be sure to slow down and look for cars backing out of driveways.
Watch for pedestrians
Drive past pedestrians with care. Try to announce yourself before you pass. For example: announcing “on your left” will help prevent accidents. Follow pedestrian signals and look for traffic when crossing the street from a sidewalk.
Share the Road
Drive with the flow of traffic even if you’re on the sidewalk. This way if the path ends, you are on the right side of the street.
This way motorist get a sense of what you intend to do and can react accordingly to avoid a crash.
Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists
Don’t underestimate their speed. Avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road.
Search your surroundings for other vehicles
In places such as parking lots, stop signs, intersections and while parking.
Stop completely and look left-right-left before turning on red
Drivers should be looking right and rear before turning right.
Obey the speed limit
Adjust your speed for road conditions
Do not pass too closely
Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle.
All states require bicyclist on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists. The more predictably you ride with, the safer you are.
There are two types of crashes; the most common are falls, and the other more dangerous ones are when you collide with cars and other motorized vehicles.
Types of Collisions
Right Cross Collisions
The most common way to get in an accident. Where either you are behind the car and the car pulls out and hits you, or the car pulls out, and you slam into them. To avoid this, get a headlight installed on your bike, that way cars can see you coming. Wave your arm to make yourself more visible. Slow down, and ride further to the left.
Open Car Door Collisions
Many cyclists have been injured or died from running into open car doors. Ride to the left to avoid this type of accident.
Getting slammed at the crosswalk
This kind of accident occurs while crossing a street at the crosswalk from the sidewalk is another danger spot. Slow down enough that you can stop completely if necessary. This type of accident can be avoided if you refrain from riding on the sidewalk in the first place.
Wrong way riding
If you are riding on the wrong side of the street, you can cause a head-on collision. Florida like many other states, bike laws state that you should ride with the flow of traffic. To avoid this crash just follow the law and don’t ride against traffic.
Traffic Light Negligence
When you stop at the right of a car stopped at the light. When the light turns, and they turn right or if you stop behind the car instead of next to it. You can avoid this accident by avoiding blind spots.
To find more go to http://bicyclesafe.com/
We hope these tips help to prevent accidents and keep cyclists safe. From your friends at Shiner Law Group, we encourage you to commute safely. Should you become injured in a bike-related accident, let us help. Call 561-777-7700 for FREE Consultation. Our team of attorneys are available 24/7.