Over 130,000 cyclists get injured on American roads every year. Riding a bike is a healthy, fun, and relatively safe activity, but understanding the basics of cycling crash prevention is crucial if you want to avoid a tragedy.
Too many people don’t understand how dangerous biking on the road can be, especially on busy roads.
Our bicycle accident law firm is here to help you out with a brief guide on how to be a defensive cyclist and keep yourself safe. Read on to learn more.
Wear Protective Gear
Too many people think that bicycle safety gear is no longer necessary in adulthood. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While safety gear won’t help you with cycling crash prevention, it will help keep you safer if an accident occurs. Your cycling equipment could save your life.
At the very least, you need to wear a helmet. It’s by far the most important piece of cycling equipment you can own aside from your actual bike.
Some people who bike long distances also wear knee or elbow pads and a protective face covering. These things are optional.
On the topic of bicycle safety gear, you should also make sure that your bike is equipped with all the necessary safety features. In other words, make sure that the brakes work and that the wheels are in good condition before you hit the road.
Be as Visible as Possible
When you’re riding a bike on the street, remember that you’re almost invisible to other drivers, even if they’re trying to be attentive. This is extra true if you’re riding a bike at night.
It’s a good idea to wear a visibility vest or have some reflective features on your outfit, helmet, and bike. This way, cars will be able to see you.
If you’re riding late at night, avoid wearing all black or dark colors. Dark clothing will make you far less visible to drivers and you’ll be in more danger.
You should also make an effort to not accidentally “hide” behind things like parked cars or trees along the street. You don’t want to be in the way, but you do want drivers to know where you are if you want to avoid a bicycle accident in Georgia.
Follow All Traffic Rules
Part of defensive bike riding is understanding all necessary road rules. Many rules that apply to motor vehicles also apply to cyclists. If you wouldn’t do it in a car, don’t do it on a bike (within reason).
You’re responsible for your own cycling crash prevention. You can’t change how other people act on the road, but you can do your part by following road rules.
Make sure you stop at stoplights and stop signs. Ride as close to the speed limit as possible and don’t swerve between cars, even if it looks like there’s space for you to do so.
Use Designated Bike Paths or Lanes
If possible, you should be riding your bike on bike paths or in bike lanes. This will be far safer for you, the other drivers, and any pedestrians. These bike-friendly spaces may help you avoid Georgia bicycle accidents.
Bike lanes are generally to the side of roads, but not on sidewalks. Watch out as some people mistakenly park in bike lanes and many people walk in them, especially if there’s no sidewalk.
Riding in a bike lane won’t guarantee your safety, but it is far safer than riding on the road.
You want to be as predictable as possible when you’re riding your bike on the road. Make sure other drivers always know what you’re planning on doing.
Again, don’t weave in and out of traffic or do anything you wouldn’t do in a car. Signal turns with your body language so cars know where you’re intending on going. Make eye contact with drivers so they know when you’re planning on going through an intersection or otherwise putting yourself in harm’s way.
The average driver wants to help you stay safe on the road, but they can’t do that if you’re behaving unpredictably. Being predictable will help you avoid a bicycle accident in Georgia.
You need to stay alert when you’re riding your bike on the road.
Yes, it’s nice to casually ride a bike while listening to music or a podcast, but this puts you and other people in danger. You need to be able to hear the sounds of the road.
You should also keep an eye on the other drivers and any surrounding pedestrians. You may be acting predictably, but not everyone else will do the same.
Always Bike Sober
This is a big one. Many people choose to ride their bikes when they’ve been drinking because they think it’s the safer choice.
Yes, it is safer than driving while drunk, but any bicycle accident law firm will tell you that it’s still not safe, and if you injure someone while you’re under the influence on your bike, you will be at least partially at fault.
Even if you don’t injure another person, you’ll be putting yourself at a greater risk of Georgia bicycle accidents. You want to be fully aware of your situation whenever you’re on the road.
Bike Accident? A Bicycle Accident Law Firm Can Help
Even when you take all necessary precautions, bicycle accidents can happen. Make sure you’re keeping yourself as safe as possible by following the suggestions on this list.
Follow the road laws, bike sober, avoid distractions, stay visible, and wear all necessary cycling gear (among other things). Being a defensive cyclist may save your life.
After a bike accident, you’ll need a bicycle accident law firm to help you out. We’re here for you. Contact us so a Georgia bicycle accident lawyer can evaluate your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.