6 Ways to Avoid a Bicycle Accident This Summer
With the summer months coming up and the weather becoming less cold, more and more people will be opting to ride their bikes to work or go for a weekend ride with their families. We will also likely see an upsurge in the amount of bicycle accidents. Here are a few tips to keep safe out there this summer.
1. Keep Your Attention on the Road
Vehicle drivers are not the only ones who have problems paying attention to the road. Many bikers are experienced enough to pedal with both hands off the handle bars and on their cell phone. Even one-handed cell phone use can be a huge problem when you should be paying attention to biking. Distractions can cause fatal accidents for bicycle riders as well as cars, and they have the distinct disadvantage in any accident involving a vehicle. While in car accidents many people are protected by the body of the car, in a bike accident, riders have no such protection. Likewise, you should always have at least one ear free from any earbud or headphone coverage. Hearing a car before you see it can often be advantageous in avoiding a collision. You can also pick up additional songs, like a car door opening or an engine starting up if you’re biking near parked cars.
2. Follow Traffic Laws
Under many state laws, a bicyclist has the same rights as a car to use a road. This means they are also under similar restrictions regarding the rules of the road. If you’re biking in the middle of a lane, you can’t change lanes without signaling, tailgate, or run a red light. By neglecting following the rules of driving, you are putting yourself at risk of being struck by a vehicle.
3. Wear Bright Clothing
Not all drivers will be paying attention to everything around them. If they see you out of the corner of their eyes, and you blend in with the rest of the background, they could fail to see you before changing lanes. Wearing bright colors can be enough to attract the attention of a driver who may not see you otherwise. This advice goes double if you’re biking at night.
4. Ride in Residential Areas or Roads with Less Traffic
Unsurprisingly, the more cars there are on the road, the more inattentive drivers there are likely to be. More drivers increase your risk of getting into a bike accident. If you bike on a residential road, the environment tends to be much quieter, and there will be fewer automobiles present to threaten your safety.
5. Keep Out of People’s Blind Spots
Even vehicle drivers do their best to stay out of other cars’ blind spots. In particular, large trucks and buses are even more dangerous. Heavier and larger vehicles tend to have a large blind spot near the rear area of the vehicle where the driver cannot see any object from the side mirrors. Cars have a slightly smaller blind spot but can still be particularly dangerous if you linger there. Drivers could change lanes at any moment, and many aggressive drivers fail to signal or give anyone else any indication they’re changing direction.
6. Bike as Far Away from Parked Cars as Possible
Parked cars can be ridiculously hazardous. People could be attempting to merge into traffic from the side of the road without paying attention to oncoming bicycles, and others park and open their driver side doors without looking behind them first. When bikers crash into opened car doors or swerve to avoid them and get struck by traffic, this incident is called “dooring.” In many states, it is also illegal to impede a bicycle or other traffic when getting out of your car. If you are injured in a dooring accident, the law is likely on your side if you decide to seek compensation for any damage done to you or your bicycle.
If you’ve been injured in a bike crash that wasn’t your fault, make sure you seek compensation. Serious injuries can lead to extremely high medical bills and lost wages. Talk to one of our experienced San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Scarlett Law Firm for a free case consultation. Our firm has handled a wide variety of personal injury cases successfully. We understand that when you’re seriously injured, you need serious help. Our founding attorney, Randall H. Scarlett, brings more than 25 years of experience to your case. Under his direction, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for the victims of injury over the years. Not only do we use visual trial techniques in court, but we also rely on an extensive network of specialists when working on cases. Let us provide you with passionate and dedicated advocacy. Contact us at (415) 688-2176 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.