7 Bike Safety Tips for Protecting Yourself from Distracted Motorists
The great state of California prides itself on being a leader in green initiatives. As a result, we’re increasingly turning to alternate modes of transportation, like biking. Stay safe on the road while biking, and protect yourself from distracted and negligent motorists by tuning into the following strategies.
Biker Safety Tips
- Follow the Rules of the Road
If you’re biking on the open road, you’re expected to follow the same traffic rules motorists do. Obey all traffic signals, bike in the same direction as traffic, and only cross at designated crosswalks. If you fail to follow the rules of the road and cause a crash, you could be found at fault for the accident.
- Use Extra Caution
Riding defensively can only get you so far; at some point, you’re at the mercy of drivers on the road. Take extra precautions while biking in traffic: when crossing the street, assume motorists turning right can’t see you. Wait until they’re aware of your presence. They may be the ones breaking the law, but you’re the one who stands to get hurt.
- Wear Protective Gear
Don necessary gear before hitting the road, including helmets, knee pads and shoulder pads. Per LiveScience: “Bike riders who wear helmets are 58 percent less likely to get a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) after an accident compared with riders who aren’t wearing helmets, according to findings presented… at the 2015 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago…
Researchers at the University of Arizona Medical Center looked at the records in a national injury database of 6,267 people who had an intracranial hemorrhage (a brain bleed) following bicycle-related accidents in 2012. Of these people, only about 25 percent were wearing helmets, they found.”
- Be Conspicuous
Drivers tend to be more focused on watching for other cars and trucks and, at least subconsciously, consider motorcyclists and bikers as something of an afterthought. Make yourself visible by wearing bright clothing, and always ride during the day. If your commute takes you out at night, wear reflective clothing to ensure motorists can see you.
- Maintain Your Equipment
Check your tire pressure, and secure your chains before you hit the pavement. Carry an emergency kit to tend to any equipment malfunctions.
- Plan Ahead
Anticipate the moves of the drivers on the road. Ride outside the vicinity of parked cars, for example. A suddenly opening car door can seriously injure you, and some drivers fail to check their rear-view mirrors when merging back onto the road after being parked.
- Make Your Actions Predictable
Don’t weave in and out of traffic, and make your intentions on the road clear by signaling turns and checking your blind spots.
Protect the environment and nurture your health by spending time on your bike, but be cautious of distracted drivers and other hazards discussed above. If you or a loved one needs insight into what to do following a bike accident to obtain fair compensation, call our experienced attorneys to schedule a confidential consultation.