Bike Safety

Bike Safety

According to national statistics, thousands of bike riders and other pedestrians are injured or killed in traffic accidents every year.

In 2003 alone, more than 650 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents. One out of every five people injured in a bicycle accident is a child between the ages of five and fifteen.

The increasing rate of pedestrian accidents has prompted the federal government to take unprecedented steps to increase bike safety at the national, state, and local levels. 

Bicyclists Can Protect Themselves

Bike safety requires the participation of bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers alike.

There are a number of steps towards bike safety that begin with the bicyclist.

The best way bicyclists can protect themselves is to wear a helmet and other protective gear at all times.

The majority of fatal and serious accidents occur when bicyclists are not wearing a helmet. When riding a bicycle at night, bike safety may include wearing reflective gear that makes it easier for vehicles to see you on the road.  

Bicycle Visibility on the Road

Another major component to bike safety is visibility on the road. 

It is good to assume that a driver does not see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact with a driver is a good way to ensure that they have seen you.

For visibility reasons, bike safety advocates warn against riding a bike against traffic because motorists are not looking for bikes on the opposite side of the road. 

Bike safety experts also recommend that you never pass on the right (as vehicles may not see you coming), never ride in the middle of the vehicle lanes, always turn safely, use hand signals, and never weave between parked cars. 

Bicyclists Must Obey Traffic Laws

Bike safety also requires following the laws of the road.

Bicyclists should obey all traffic signs and signals, follow lane markings, use lights at night, and always ride safely with respect to road conditions and weather.

Bike safety, like vehicle safety, also requires that bikes be kept in good condition and distractions are kept to a minimum.

Many experts say that cyclists should not ride with headphones because it impairs one’s ability to hear and react to road and traffic conditions. 

Bike Accidents Caused by Motorists

Bike safety also requires the participation of vehicle drivers. 

While the majority of bike accidents do not involve vehicles or are the fault of the bike rider, many bike accidents are caused by motorist carelessness or mistakes. 

Motorists have to be aware of the road and their surroundings and understand how to safely share the road with bikes and pedestrians. 

Use Extra Cation

Bike safety is particularly important in areas that many bicyclists frequent.

When driving in and around school areas, trail heads, and other major bike routes, it is important for cyclists and motorists to take extra caution and be aware of their surroundings. 

Contact a Bike Accident Attorney

If you would like to learn more about bike safety or have been injured in a traffic accident, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney in your area. 

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