Riding a bicycle can be a fun, healthy way of getting around. Be it for leisure or as a primary means of transportation, it’s efficient, quick, and easy. However, as many cyclists know, the road can be a dangerous place. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 95,000 bicycle injuries in a recent two-year period alone, the bulk of which involved collision with a motor vehicle. The following tips are to ensure safe standards for cyclists:
Crashes can happen at any moment, but can be avoided with a few precautions. Cyclists should ride in the direction of traffic and pay close attention to their surroundings. Cars often can’t see cyclists until it’s too late, so a cyclist must play their part and keep an eye on the cars. Distractions like cell phones or music players should be stowed while in motion. If a call or text is necessary, a cyclist should pull over to a safe location before initiating.
Wear a Helmet
A helmet is absolutely essential to a safe cycling experience. But it’s not enough to buy any helmet, as helmets are not all created equally. Cyclists should take the time to try on a helmet for proper fitting. Most bicycle shops and bicycle departments in stores carry a guide to a correct fit.
Especially for the cyclists who ride at night, visibility plays a vital role in avoiding an accident. Reflectors and reflective tape can be affixed to a bicycle, as well as lights and other accessories. Reflective clothing is also widely available if the bicycle does not support these accessories.
Follow the Rules
If cycling on the road with other vehicles, it is imperative that the rules of the road be followed. Signs, traffic signals, and boundaries should always be obeyed. Cyclists should ride predictably, avoiding any sudden or erratic movements through traffic. If a bike lane is available, it should always be used.
Just like helmets, bicycles are not all created equally. They all have different sizes and adjustments for height, speed, weight, control and more. Cyclists should choose the right bike for all their needs, taking care to make the necessary adjustments before riding.
There are many different safety fixtures that can be added onto any bike. Beyond reflection and visibility, tools like horns can alert pedestrians and drivers alike of a cyclist’s presence, particularly in a dangerous situation. Mirrors should also be considered to increase a cyclist’s ability to see any oncoming vehicles.
It’s important to follow any and all safety precautions when cycling. However, despite best efforts, cyclists are still in constant danger. If you or a loved one has been injured on a bicycle, be it from an accident or a defective bike, contact a personal injury or product liability attorney who may be able to help. Contact the law offices of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC to schedule a consultation today.