Due to the global pandemic, bicycle sales have skyrocketed across the United States. Many people believe it a safer mode of transportation than public transit. However, due to the increase in the number of cyclists on the road, the number of fatal and injury-causing collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles is steadily rising. To help curb that steady rise in bicyclist injury and fatalities, our attorneys here at Cutter Law P.C. decided to compile a list of bicycle safety tips from Safety.com to help keep you safe when you’re out riding your bicycle.
1 – Always Wear A Helmet
Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is the easiest and most impactful thing you can do to protect yourself from injury on the road. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by more than 50%. While helmets are not a total safety guarantee, there is no logical reason to forgo wearing one.
2 – Wear High-Visibility Reflective Gear
Another easy thing you can do to protect yourself while riding your bike is to wear high-visibility reflective gear and clothing. Even doing things as simple as donning a reflective vest or legwear, installing reflectors on your bicycle, and putting a flashing tail light on your seat can go a long way towards protecting you on the road. The entire idea behind wearing high-visibility gear while riding your bike is to increase the chances that a car will notify you before it’s too late. For more information on types of reflective gear, this article from Road Bike Rider is a great resource.
3 – Use Your Official Hand Signal
Did you know that there are official hand signals for stopping, turning left, and turning right on a bicycle? To signal a stop, bend your left arm down and place your hand palm-side towards the traffic behind you. Signaling a right-hand turn is as easy as turning your left arm up at ninety degrees. Signaling a left-hand turn is as easy as extending your left arm straight out towards the road. For a visual representation of these signals, the NHTSA has this handy chart.
4 – Always Ride With The Flow Of Traffic
Unlike when walking or running, you should always ride with traffic flow when you’re on a bicycle. While it may seem more logical to ride against traffic, studies have shown the opposite. In short, always ride with the flow of traffic.
5 – Use Dedicated Bicycle Lanes When Available
If your city or community has dedicated bicycle lanes, then use them. Dedicated bicycle lanes help reduce traffic accidents considerably. Thanks to their efficacy, more than 20 separate states now provide (or are working on providing) dedicated, protected bicycle lanes in major cities and suburbs.
If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle and motor vehicle collision, then please don’t hesitate to contact our bicycle accident attorneys for a no-obligation consultation. We’re always standing by to represent you and your interests in a court of law.