Following proper bike safety rules is vital to avoiding bike accidents and preventing injuries. Bike riding can provide exercise and entertainment for many, but just like with any other vehicle, riding one can come with its own set of risks. Bicycles are legally considered vehicles on the roadways and should be operated with the same amount of care as a car or truck.
Approximately 33,000 people die in car crashes in the U.S. each year, and roughly 1 in 41 is a bicyclist. A Colorado injury lawyer who handles many bike accidents offers up these 8 bike safety tips to make your next ride a safer one.
- Obey traffic signs and signals – most bike accidents can be prevented if everyone follows the rules of the road. Again, a bike is considered a vehicle on the road like any other, so riders must also follow the same rules. Stop at red lights, use hands to signal turns, and don’t turn left from the right lane.
- Do not ride against traffic – most drivers are not looking for, or will fail to notice, a bicyclist on the wrong side of the road. In addition to limited visibility, riding on the wrong side leaves you at risk for collisions with turning vehicles and lessens your reaction time for approaching vehicles. Drive alongside the other cars on the road in same direction to avoid bike accidents.
- Dress for bike safety – wear bright-colored clothes with reflective fabric if driving at night; wear a rain poncho; dress in layers to prepare for the weather; always wear a helmet; and attach blinking lights to your person or bike frame.
- Keep your bike well-maintained – faulty brakes, worn tires and broken reflectors are all recipes for disaster. It is also important to be sure your seat is at the proper height. Have your bike checked out regularly and do not ride a bike that is in poor working order.
- Keep your eyes and ears on the road – avoid listening to headphones while riding because it is very important to hear your surroundings while on the road. Similarly, don’t text or talk on your phone while riding or waiting at stop lights. Not only is it distracting, but you also will need both hands if you have to brake suddenly.
- Avoid busy streets – if you’re just starting to commute by bike, do not take the normal route you would in your car. Try to find an alternate route that is driven by fewer and slower cars until you feel comfortable with your biking skills.
- Watch out for obstacles – if riding in a highly populated area, watch out for car doors being opened in your path, garbage cans and trash on or near curbs, speed bumps, icy patches, or anything else that could cause you to have a bike accident if you were to run over it or be hit by it.
- Avoid impaired driving – just like operating a vehicle, riding a bike under the influence can be extremely dangerous. You may swerve into traffic, fall off of your bicycle or fail to follow traffic laws properly. The same sentiment applies to riding when tired or drowsy. Have someone pick you up, take public transportation or stay where you are until you are sober.
By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure your safety and the safety of those riding or driving around you. However, even with the best bike safety intentions, bike accidents can occur.
If you were injured on your bicycle because of a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Call a Colorado injury lawyer today to discuss your options and receive the help you need.
Contacting a Colorado Injury Lawyer
The Law Office of D.J. Banovitz prides itself on giving honest, straightforward answers to your questions and concerns after you’ve been seriously injured in a bike accident, car wreck, slip and fall, or other type of personal injury accident. When another’s negligence causes you harm, you deserve to know the truth about your rights and options in a personal injury claim.
To learn more about how bike accident attorneys matter in preserving your personal injury claim, request a FREE copy of our book, 7 Costly Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Colorado Injury Case . When you’re ready, contact us for a FREE consultation – 1-303-300-5060.