Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents
Posted By Givens Givens Sparks, PLLC || Aug 23, 2016
Even if the weather is perfect and the temperature is just right, bike riders need to take precautions to avoid being hit by a car. There are some roads that restrict vehicle access and are more “bicycle-friendly”, however, you need to take care when sharing the road with cars and trucks.
What Causes a Bike Crash?
While there’s always a chance that you could get in an accident anywhere in the world, there are a few situations that make riding on the road a bit more dangerous than other places.
- Turning into Your Path from the Opposite Direction: A common way that bicycles and cars can crash into each other is when the vehicle is driving in the opposite direction from the cyclist and cuts you off while making a left turn. These types of crashes are often the result of driver inattention, which can range from not seeing the cyclist until it’s too late to get out of the way to misjudging the speed that the cyclist is approaching at.
- Turning into Your Path from the Same Direction: Similar to the previous cause, vehicles travelling in the same direction as a cyclist can still cut off the lane by making a right turn into your lane. These types of collisions are often the result of the driver not properly checking their blind spot or by misjudging your speed.
- Opening Doors of Parked Cars: If you’re biking through a city, chances are that part of your ride will take place in a bike lane that runs parallel to parking spots. If people are preparing to get out of their cars and don’t take the time to check for oncoming bikers, there’s a risk that they open the door and cut off your lane and cause you to crash.
- Rear Ending: Sometimes drivers aren’t just negligent, they’re outright reckless. Whether they were driving while distracted or driving too fast to stop in time, getting rear ended by a car poses a serious risk to both your bike and your safety.
How Can I Avoid a Crash?
Even though it’s everyone’s responsibility to practice safe driving techniques, people can make mistakes or even ignore regulations altogether. There are several steps you can take to do your best to mitigate the chances of being involved in a collision, even though there’s no way to protect yourself from every possibility.
- Stay Alert: Constantly looking around for any potential hazards is a necessity, especially if you’re biking in heavily congested areas like cities. It’s also a good idea to avoid wearing headphones; your eyes can only see so much, but your ears may be able to pick up oncoming dangers and give you that extra split second to react and avoid injury.
- Wear the Right Gear: Whether or not you choose to wear head to toe biker gear, make sure to wear bright and / or reflective clothing, especially if you’re going out at night. Staying as visible as possible gives anyone sharing the road with you a better chance to see you and avoid getting in your way.
- Get a Headlight: Keeping your bicycle’s headlight on will keep you visible, especially at night. It’s a good idea to keep it on at all times, even on a cloudless afternoon, especially if the light has a strobe setting.
Even if you follow every safety tip in the book, look both ways before crossing the street, and give every vehicle a wide berth, you may still end up involved in a crash. If the crash was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you may be able to pursue legal action to help cover any medical costs or damages you incur. Contact the Tampa personal injury ATTORNEYS at Givens Givens Sparks today for a free case consultation, or give us a call at (813) 375-0109 to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers.