Bicycle Safety Tips
With the arrival of spring, it’s time to dust off your bicycle and enjoy the warmer weather. However, bicyclists must exercise common sense when on their bikes, otherwise they could suffer a serious injury in a collision with a much larger vehicle. Follow these tips so that your next bicycling trip is a safe and fun one.
Wear a Helmet
A helmet is required for all cyclists who are 14 and under, and make sure that you have the right helmet. Buy one that meets the American National Standard Institute or Snell Memorial Foundation standards. Also ensure that the helmet fits your child’s head.
Ride with Traffic
Many novice cyclists are terrified of riding with traffic, choosing to ride against traffic so that they can see the cars that approach them. However, the law requires that you ride like other vehicles on the road. Riding against traffic increases your risk of injury.
Obey Traffic Rules
You can decrease your chances of suffering an accident if you observe all traffic rules. Among the most important are the following:
- Use hand signals to tell pedestrians and motorists what moves you will be making. If you don’t remember the hand signals, then refresh your memory.
- Never pass on the right. A motorist isn’t expecting you to be there, and they could pull into you.
- Obey stop signs. In particular, don’t race through intersections.
- Follow the lane markings. A lane might say, “Right turn only” so don’t go straight or try to make a left-hand turn from this lane.
- Yield to pedestrians. We see many bicyclists around Brooklyn who think they always have the right of way. You don’t.
A major cause of bicycle accidents is invisibility. Drivers are not looking for you and therefore pull into your lane, cut you off, or crash into you. To increase your visibility, do the following:
- Use a headlight at night—red tailing lights and a white headlight are ideal.
- Use a bell to give an audio cue about your position.
- Put reflective tape on your bicycle. For example, you can attach wheel stripes to your bike’s rims.
- Wear a bright jacket. Brighter colors can make it easier for motorists to see you.
Of course, remember that increasing your visibility does not mean you can now cycle in an aggressive manner. For example, one study found that cyclists who wore reflective clothing got in more accidents because they adopted a more aggressive road position.
Remember that you can’t control what other people on the road do. However, you can respond to them in a quick manner, but you must be paying attention first. Always scan several seconds ahead of you and remain nimble. To increase awareness, you should avoid wearing headphones or, at most, only wear one headphone.
Injured while Riding a Bicycle? Contact Us Today
Because of how unprotected cyclists are, they can suffer life-changing injuries after a collision. You will need an aggressive advocate by your side to fight for compensation on your behalf. The team at the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates in Brooklyn has decades of cumulative experience helping accident victims just like you. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 718-407-4123.