Whether you are enjoying a leisurely ride, exercising, or even commuting to work, many people in Florida and other states ride bicycles for various reasons. However, roads in the United States are dangerous for cyclists.
The most common cause of injury to cyclists is being struck by a motor vehicle. Drivers often hit cyclists when they are making left and right turns, when they do not make room while passing when they rear-end them, and when they even open their doors.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 846 cyclists were killed and approximately 49,000 were injured in auto accidents in 2019 alone. In most cases involving fatal collisions, the most serious injuries involve the head.
The following are five safety tips for bicyclists when sharing the road with motor vehicles:
- Wear a helmet – Adults and children must wear a helmet while biking. According to a 2016 study from researchers at the University of South Wales, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of a serious head injury by almost 70 percent. Ensure the helmet is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The helmet is most effective when it is properly fitted to your head.
- Check your equipment – Before you ride, always inspect your bike. Make sure the seat is adjusted to the proper height and locked in place, all bicycle parts are in working order and secured, and the tires are properly inflated. If your bike does not have these items already, equip it with rear, front, pedal, and spoke reflectors, as well as a bell or horn, a rear-view mirror, and a bright headlight.
- Be visible to others – To ensure drivers and others on the road see you, you can wear bright, fluorescent, or neon clothing. If you can, try to ride during the day. If you need to bike at night, wear reflective attire and use flashing lights to catch the attention and eye of drivers in the dark.
- Follow the traffic laws – In general, cyclists must adhere to the same traffic laws as motorists. Ride single file in the direction of traffic. Use hand signals when turning. Stay alert and keep your head on a swivel to watch out for potential road hazards. Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, and then once again left and over your shoulder.
- Limit distractions – While distracted driving has now become one of the most common causes of car accidents in the U.S., biking while distracted is just as dangerous. Avoid listening to extremely loud music while driving, using a water bottle that is difficult to open with one hand, and especially texting while riding.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Bonita Springs or within the surrounding area, call Pittman Law Firm, P.L. at (239) 603-6913 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. With more than 25 years of legal experience, our legal team has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients!