Bicycle Safety Tips to Avoid Accidents

Spring is in the air, and with it the urge to enjoy the great outdoors. For many, this means cycling. But did you know that, on average, two people are killed each day in the United States in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes? Many serious injuries also occur. It makes sense then to understand the rules of the road, and to practice bicycle safety at all times. These bicycle safety tips will help.

  1. Use your head. A properly fitted bicycle helmet is your single greatest protection against head injury in a bicycle accident. Some states require residents under age 16 to wear a helmet, but even when the law doesn’t require helmet wearing, it is the smart thing to do.
  2. Obey road rules. As a bicycle rider, you are considered a vehicle operator, and must obey the same road rules as other types of vehicle operators. Traffic signs, signals, and lane markings must all be observed. Always ride in the same direction as traffic, not against traffic.
  3. Shine your light. Don’t assume that other drivers can see you during the day. Motor vehicle drivers in particular have many distractions, and often miss bicycle riders. Increase your visibility at all times by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing, then add a front bike light and a red reflector or flashing rear bike light for nighttime riding. You might also consider using retro-reflective marker or tape on clothes and equipment.
  4. Ride with a buddy. Riding with others will make you more visible. Be aware though that no more than 2 riders can ride side by side on public roads.
  5. Show courtesy. When driving your car or truck, always share the road with cyclists. Remember, they are vehicle operators too. When passing bicyclists, allow for three feet of clearance. Before opening your door or pulling out of a parking spot, check for oncoming cyclists. Yield to cyclists at intersections or when making turns, especially on busy roads.

Following these simple rules will help you to avoid bicycle accidents that cost more than four billion dollars per year, according to the National Safety Council. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.