With summer here, you and your friends and family are likely to be getting out and about more and more to enjoy the weather. While being outdoors and getting active are great ways to stay in shape and spend some leisure time, there are hazards to consider, particularly if cycling is something you enjoy.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that as the weather gets nicer, there are more people out riding bikes. With more bike riders, the likelihood of bike accidents increases. While wearing proper safety gear can help protect you from injury if involved in a bicycle accident, it’s far better to be proactive about your safety and the safety of those around you by preventing the accident in the first place. Here are some tips and tricks you and your family members can employ while enjoying the summer months from the seat of a bicycle.
1. Get a light. Lights on your bicycle not only help you see better in the darkness, but it helps motorists see your bicycle, both in the dark, and during the day. Seeing better and being seen better are two of the best ways to help you avoid collisions.
2. Get a horn. While lights can help you be visible to the motorists around you, cars and trucks can have blind spots. When you come to an intersection where you may be hidden in a blind spot, a horn, or even a “Hey!” from you to a passing motorist can help them notice you.
3. Slow down. When you approach an intersection, a cross-walk, or parked cars that could have a door open at any moment, be sure that you’re cycling at a speed at which you could come to a complete stop quickly enough if you have to.
4. Don’t ride against traffic. While it may seem like a good idea to ride against traffic so you can see cars approaching, riding with traffic is actually far safer. Cars pulling out of driveways, parking lots, and cross streets making right-hand turns aren’t expecting traffic to be coming at them from the lane you’re in if you’re riding against traffic. They don’t expect to see you and it makes it harder for them to do so and to course correct when necessary. Additionally, cars approaching you from behind (when you ride with traffic) come at you at a far lower relative speed, because you’re both moving in the same direction (i.e. you’re going 10 mph, and the car behind you comes up doing 40 mph, it’s like approaching you at 30 mph, but if you’re going against traffic, the speed you’re going adds to the speed the motorist is going, adding to 50 mph of a combined speed, giving both of you far less time to react, and increasing the risk of injuries if a collision happens, because of the higher relative speed.)
5. Don’t sit in a motorist’s blind spot. When you approach a red light, don’t stop just beside a vehicle. This is a blind spot on most vehicles, and if the car is turning right, they could turn directly into you. Instead, stop behind the car, as another motorist would do, giving the vehicle plenty of time to get through the intersection before you are in it.
Even with precautions like these, bicycle accidents happen. And, most states like Pennsylvania, the driver must yield to the bicyclist. If you were injured by a driver while riding a bike you may be entitled to compensation. Call our Media personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced bicycle accident attorneys today.