Bike Safety: 3 Emergency Maneuvers Every Bicyclist Should Know

Learning proper bike safety techniques may help prevent some road bike crashes in Aurora. Sadly, over 600 people were killed in cycling accidents in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The data did not indicate which parties were at fault for the crashes, but knowing some emergency maneuvers may help some cyclists avoid serious accidents.

Emergency Maneuver #1: Instant Turn

This bike safety technique is helpful when a vehicle unexpectedly merges in front of you. For instance, if you are traveling straight and a vehicle turns right in front of you without using a signal.

Some reasons motorists may unexpectedly cut you off are if they:

  • are ignorant to the bicyclist’s right to the road;
  • do not see the rider; or
  • if they try to speed ahead to turn to avoid waiting for you to pass.

In this example, a vehicle makes a right turn while you are riding next to it, essentially cutting into your path. To perform the instant turn, you will need to quickly jerk your front wheel to the left very briefly.

This feels unnatural because you are turning your wheel the wrong way, i.e., toward the car. However, in doing this, you are forcing your body to lean to the right. When your lean has started, you’ll then very quickly turn your front wheel sharply to the right, making a tight right turn. Although a counter-intuitive technique, when followed, it may help avoid a head-on collision.

Emergency Maneuver #2: Quick Stop

Let’s say you’re riding in traffic in Aurora and a pedestrian or another vehicle suddenly stops in front of you. How do you bring your bike to a quick stop in a very short distance? You can use the quick stop maneuver.

Two common braking errors you want to avoid include:

  • using only the front brake (which will result in a pitch-over); and
  • using only the rear brake (which is not effective).

For optimum deceleration, practice using both brakes simultaneously, perhaps applying a bit more pressure on the front brake. Slide your weight back to the rear, as this may help reduce skidding.

Emergency Maneuver #3: Rock Dodge

At some point, most bicyclists encounter rocks or other small hazards, and may have little room to maneuver. In cases like this, try to keep your body straight, but move the bike around the object.

Standing off of the seat while keeping the pedals level may help better control the bike, and remove weight from the rear. Maneuver the front wheel around the hazard, and then back into your original path. Look ahead to anticipate any other hazards, too.

When You’re Involved in an Aurora Road Bike Crash

Practice these bike safety techniques, and consider taking a class to learn more so that if a scenario arises in which you must use them, you are prepared. If you’ve had the misfortune of being involved in a road bike crash, or if you’re loved one was seriously or fatally wounded in an accident, you may benefit from speaking with an Aurora injury attorney about your legal options.

To learn about your legal options, contact personal injury attorney D.J. Banovitz today at 303-300-5060. We can help clients with bicycle accidents and bike safety cases.