While many bicycle safety tips simply tell people to “wear a helmet and follow the law,” there are several other things that cyclists can do to keep safe on the roads. Bicycle accidents can be devastating, making it crucial that cyclists stay aware of their surroundings when riding. Our firm has compiled a short list of tips to follow that can keep you visible and help you avoid a collision.
1. Buy a Headlight and Rear Reflector
If you are to be riding at night, having a headlight on either the front of your bike or attached to your helmet is crucial to maintaining your visibility. If you are blending into the dark, cars are much less likely to see you and have a higher likelihood of turning into you or striking you from behind. In addition, equipping your bike with a bell or a horn may be a desirable option to make sure that you are heard as well as seen.
2. Use Turn Signals
If you are planning on changing lanes or making a turn, it is imperative that you use hand signals to let other cars know. If you are making a left turn, point directly to the left with your left arm. For a right turn, either point directly out to the right with your right arm or make an upward-L shape with your left arm. This is especially important for making left turns, as a driver may not expect you to suddenly swing into the middle of the lane.
3. Stay out of a Driver’s Blind Spot
It is important that you refrain from riding in a driver’s blind spot, as a car can unexpectedly merge into you if you are not visible. This is especially true when waiting at a stoplight. Either pull up enough so that the car is just behind you, or stay far back enough so that you are visible in the driver’s mirrors. Additionally, being in a driver’s blind spot can contribute to an accident known as a “right hook” in which a driver makes a right turn in front of a cyclist who is heading in the same direction, causing the cyclist to slam into the back right of the car.
4. Do Not Ride With Headphones
It is much more important that you remain aware of your surroundings and able to hear what is going on around you. Riding while listening to music, while enjoyable, can be dangerous as it can hinder your ability to hear traffic. The less distractions, the better.
Even if you follow all these tips, accidents can still happen. If you should ever be injured in a bicycle accident, the Falls Church bicycle accident lawyers from The Strong Law Firm are prepared to stand up for your rights in a court of law and demand the compensation you deserve. With more than 35 years of personal injury experience and a Superb Avvo Rating, our attorneys have the skills you need to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your case.
To get started towards retaining trusted representation, call our office at (703) 204-2040 today!