Many bicyclists who ride their bikes for leisure find it liberating to do so. While many bike riders assume that they’ll be safe when riding in their neighborhoods or along city streets, that’s when so many of them encounter the most danger from surrounding vehicles.
Accidents are a reality that bicyclists have to concern themselves with every time they take to the road. They are some factors that put them at risk of more serious injuries, however.
What can bicyclists do to keep themselves safer?
In a perfect world, every driver would keep an eye out for bicyclists and pedestrians, especially in residential areas. As things are, every cyclist would be wise to remember the following:
- Always be on alert: Bicyclists must remain vigilant for motorists who may not notice them coming out of driveways, parking lots, side streets or when navigating any blind spots.
- Stay visible: This is imperative since motorists often remark that the reason that they crashed into a bicyclist is that they didn’t notice them. Wear fluorescent or high-visibility clothing at night or in other situations in which it may make it challenging for drivers to see. Having a working headlight is important, as well.
- Wear a helmet: Safety helmets can save bicyclists from suffering blunt force trauma consistent with traumatic brain injuries. You should be careful only to buy a U.S. Department of Transportation approved helmet and to replace it after an accident or every few years of use, whichever occurs first.
- Stay off the sidewalks: Using them makes it challenging for motorists to keep track of your presence — and they may not expect you to suddenly cross an intersection as they turn.
- Keep to the right: You should also avoid traveling down the wrong side of the road. At least 25% of all crashes involving bikes do this.
Efforts to minimize your risks are meaningful only when motorists act responsibly behind the wheels of their vehicles. If you’re injured by a negligent driver while riding your bike, you have every right to expect compensation for your losses.