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Safely Riding a Bicycle in Traffic
With the weather in Southern California getting warmer, that means more people on their bicycles will be out on the road. Working for an accident attorney, I know that it is incredibly important to focus on safety. Even when you are riding a bicycle. So today I have put together some tips on how to safely ride your bicycle in traffic. If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact us. Consultations with an accident lawyer in our office are free!
Accident Lawyer | Staying Safe
Staying safe on any given day when you are on your bicycle is incredibly important. However, with the weather warming up lately, we know that more and more people will be out and about. Here are some ways to keep safe, while also being out and about.
Wear a Helmet
Though wearing a helmet will not prevent you from falling, it will provide protection for your head. Having the right helmet can save you from severe head injuries. However, do not think that you are invincible. It is still possible to be injured. Being careful and making sure you are cycling safely is of the utmost importance.
Wear Proper Attire
Okay, so this may seem stereotypical. However, there is a point to wearing the proper gear when you are out cycling. Especially if you are cycling at night. This is because the majority of accidents happen when drivers have not noticed that a cyclist is nearby. I know that sometimes it seems that cyclists sneak up you, I know that it has happened to me quite a bit. If it is not bright enough out, getting reflective cycle gear will be a tremendous help. The more obvious you are to drivers, the less likely you are to be injured.
Make sure to always wear comfortable clothing. Appropriate shoes, pants, tops, etc. You want to be comfortable, but you also don’t want to get anything caught in the wheels of your bike.
Take it Easy
If you are not an experienced cyclist, we do not suggest that you throw yourself into heavy traffic. Start off on quiet back streets, if you can. This will get you used to being around cars and other road traffic. But it will not be overwhelming. You can gradually build up your stamina on larger roads by practicing on them on days when there aren’t as many people out. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the streets and any other substantial obstacles.
Obey the Rules of the Road
I can tell you, one of the most frustrating things as a driver, is a bicyclist that does not follow the rules of the road. Always ride with traffic. Stay off sidewalks, stop at stop signs and stop lights. Even if it seems that there is not a reason for you to stop, motorists will give you more respect if they see you obeying the rules of the road. Don’t run red lights. Even if you see other cyclists doing it. It is dangerous for you and other cyclists and drivers.
Obey the right-of-way rules and never go down the street the wrong way. You want to avoid an accident at all costs.
This can be a difficult one because I know that listening to music helps get people motivated. However, it is best to leave the music alone. The reason being, it can impair your ability to hear any oncoming traffic. Seeing that most bikes do not have mirrors, and you are less likely to look behind you while you are on your bike, you need to be distraction free. You should be able to judge the speed, distance, and type of car that approaches you without having to look behind you.
At night, make sure you are paying attention to the lights of a passing car. Most rear-end cars and hybrid cars are very difficult to hear, as they are quieter. So pay extra close attention to those as well.
Be Cautious & Stay Alert
Along with avoiding distractions, you also want to make sure that you are on the lookout for others on the road. Keep in mind that many drivers do not see cyclists. As mentioned before, most bikes do not have mirrors, however, it is actually a good idea to get a rear-view mirror and attach it to your helmet or handlebars. It is so important to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Paying extra attention at intersections is also important to your overall safety. If cars are turning, make sure you are watching their direction in order to avoid a potential accident. Parked cars that are close to the corner curb may obstruct a driver’s ability to see you coming around a corner. Don’t block the right turn lane and make sure you are paying attention to any cars that are coming up behind you. When crossing an intersection, watch out for any vehicles that are trying to make a left turn, as they are most likely not able to see you. Therefore, there is a chance they could T-Bone you.
There are signals that a cyclist uses to indicate to other drivers where they are going. And as much as we dislike it when cars don’t signal, cars hate it even more when cyclists do not give any indication of where they are going. Throw one arm out whenever you need to merge with traffic, turning, etc. The biggest danger for cyclists is drivers who are not paying attention. So make sure you are always on the look out for drivers. Even more so important, make sure drivers know exactly where you are going.
Suffering from Injuries? Contact an Accident Attorney Today!
Being injured due to a bicycle accident is stressful. Getting treated for your injuries shouldn’t be. If you are suffering from serious injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact an accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys. Consultations are free!