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Tips for staying safe as a cyclist

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Personal Injury

Cyclists face a lot of risks. If involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, odds are that a cyclist is the one who is going to suffer the most serious injuries.

There’s nothing you can do that can guarantee a driver won’t make a mistake and cause an accident, but there are steps you can take to lower the odds of being injured while riding. Here are a few safety tips that cyclists should keep in mind.

Wear the right gear

Start by getting a bike helmet that fits comfortably but tightly. Helmets could be used to prevent thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths annual, so they’re very important. Reflective tape and bright-colored clothes are also important because they increase visibility and reduce the chances of an accident.

Ride in the right location

Cyclists also need to know where drivers expect them to be, which is on the side of the traffic lane moving in the same direction as that traffic. Riders should never ride against traffic. They should also avoid sidewalks when they can. Using bike lanes can be very safe if those are available.

Watch out for parked cars

People often don’t consider parked cars to be a hazard, but they certainly can be. If a cyclist is riding right next to a car on the side of the street and someone in that vehicle opens a door without checking their mirror first, the cyclist could be involved in a sudden and dramatic collision known as being doored.

Always obey traffic laws

Cyclists also need to simply obey traffic signals and other control devices. They should never run stop signs or red lights. They should use hand signals when turning. When crossing the street, it should always be done properly, rather than simply jaywalking at a random location with their bicycle.

Injuries can still happen

As noted above, these safety tips can help, but they definitely do not guarantee an injury will never happen. Many drivers still make mistakes, such as turning without checking for cyclists or passing when there just isn’t enough space to do so safely or legally. Those who have been injured need to know about their rights to seek financial compensation. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.