How to Avoid Bicycle Accidents
A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that hit-and-run car crash deaths are on the rise, and almost 70 percent of the victims are pedestrians or those riding bicycles. The increase in deaths is partly caused by an increase in people riding their bicycles to work or as a form of exercise.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, our Savannah bicycle accident attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation and do not charge for representing you unless you receive fair compensation.
Reducing the Risk of a Bicycle Crash
Fortunately, there are many ways that cyclists can reduce the risk of being injured in a bicycle crash, including:
Being Careful at Intersections
Intersections are some of the most dangerous locations for cyclists, which is why you need to be extremely careful when approaching these areas and riding through them. Slow down when approaching an intersection and look carefully for approaching traffic. Even if you have the right of way, check that no other vehicles are coming.
Carefully monitor traffic signs and signals – if a light is about to change, you might be better waiting to go through the intersection. As you go through the intersection, watch for any approaching cars. You want as much time as possible to maneuver to avoid a collision if a car is coming at you.
Bicyclists take up less space and are less noticeable than other vehicles. For these reasons, it is important that cyclists take care to increase their visibility. There are several ways to accomplish this, including:
- Wearing light-colored or luminescent clothing day and night when cycling
- Adding reflective tape to clothing
- Using a rear reflector on your bike
- Avoiding blind spots
- Avoiding emerging from a covered area without stopping or looking for dangers ahead
- Avoiding riding on a narrow rural road when it is dark outside
Signaling properly allows other motorists to know your intentions. The following signals should be used:
- Left-hand turn – Signal by extending your left arm to the side and keeping it level with the left side of your bike.
- Right-hand turn – Extend your right arm and hand, keeping it level with the rest of your body.
Avoiding Parked Cars
Many drivers do not look for approaching bike riders before opening their car doors after parking. This often results in bicyclists crashing into open car doors, particularly when cars are parallel parked.
You can reduce your risk of this type of accident by putting at least four feet between your bike and any parked cars. You should also check parked cars for drivers or passengers so you will be prepared in case one of them opens a door. The more time you have to react, the more likely you are to avoid an accident.
Wearing a Helmet
While wearing a helmet will not prevent an accident from happening, it can help minimize any damage an accident causes and potentially save your life. Some guidelines for bike helmets include:
- The helmet and straps should fit snugly on your head.
- The helmet should be level.
- Use a brightly-colored helmet with reflective tape to increase visibility.
Contact a Lawyer for Assistance
Sometimes no matter how safe you are, others may cause you to suffer injury in a bicycle accident. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you protect your claim. Your Savannah personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for the many costs involved in an accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
If you were injured in a bike accident, we can explain your rights during a free initial consultation. Since we only collect attorney’s fees if we help you recover compensation, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights.