Whether you are a professional cyclist, a commuter trying to stay fit, a tourist, or an outdoors enthusiast, there are numerous benefits to riding your bike! But whatever your performance level, you’re at risk of serious injury and wrongful death. HG Legal Resources reports that nearly 700 people died from bicycle-related accidents last year, and more than 90 percent of those fatalities involved motor vehicles. In addition, about 540,000 bike riders were injured and brought to emergency rooms during the same year. According to BicycleSafe, the most common way to get hit is in a collision with a car pulling out of a side street, parking lot, or driveway on the right.
All too often, bike accidents result in tragic wrongful death cases. Take time to understand and share these 15 essential safety tips… because it could save your life or the life of a loved one!
1. Always wear a federally-approved bicycle helmet. Riders without helmets are 14 times more likely to suffer from fatal head injuries compared to those wearing head protection.
2. Follow the same traffic laws just like an average motorist. Stop at red lights and ride with the traffic flow.
3. Try to choose residential areas rather than congested highways and streets when riding a bike.
4. Wear bright clothing. Your bicycle should also have reflectors that will allow other road users to see you.
5. Before riding a bike, make sure the brakes and reflectors are working properly.
6. Maintain a safe distance to parked cars to prevent being hit by doors which may open.
7. When crossing a pedestrian lane, get off your bike. In case of an accident involving a car, the driver is generally held liable for injuries a rider has sustained if the rider is off the bike.
8. Rethink using headphones to listen to music or podcasts, and avoid talking or texting on your phone while riding your bike. The fewer distractions you have, the more you’re equipped to avoid a serious accident.
9. Respect the right of way of pedestrians.
10. Base your speed on the road condition and volume of traffic.
11. Make sure to use the proper hand signals when stopping, turning, or changing lanes, such as signaling with your arm in the direction you are turning.
12. Use care when crossing intersections.
13. Use the whole lane—not the edge of a street—to become visible and predictable to motorists.
14. Be extra careful when there is a passing truck or bus which has a larger blind spot than a passenger car.
15. Ride as if you were invisible. If a car has to see you and take action to avoid hitting you then they are much more likely to hit you. But if you stay out of their way, then you are less likely to get hit even if they didn’t notice you were there.
Safety awareness could save your life. But unfortunately, precautions can’t always protect you from negligent drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bike accident in you could be entitled to significant compensation if a car driver was at fault. You need a personal injury lawyer ready to fight for your rights! Call Brian K. Branch at 505-207-4401 or contact us online!
Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC
715 Marquette Ave. NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102