Bicyclists are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. Since cyclists don't have any exterior protection -- aside from a helmet hopefully -- getting struck by a vehicle can easily end in catastrophic injuries for the bicyclist, and zero injuries for the motorist.
Due to these risks, cyclists need to do everything possible to stay safe and avoid such incidents. Most bicyclists know to wear a helmet and use lights and reflectors on their bikes, but are you following these bike safety tips for car accident avoidance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
1. Follow the rules of the road
It seems obvious that anyone on the road should obey traffic laws, but many cyclists wrongly believe that vehicle laws don't apply to them. In fact, bicyclists have to follow the same rules cars do, and obeying them is one of the best ways to avoid a potentially fatal accident.
2. Get a properly fitted bicycle and maintain it well
A bicycle that fits your body is a bicycle that's easier to control. Being agile and in control of your bike is key when it comes to accident prevention. Another thing that contributes to the agility of your bike is keeping it in good repair, especially so the brakes are in the best working order possible.
3. Wear safety equipment and be visible
Wearing a helmet is the single most important thing -- aside from following the rules of the road -- that bicyclists can do to prevent fatal injuries. To prevent crashes, bright and reflective clothing is key.
4. Don't carry more than one person on your bike
It's tempting to let your friend ride on the handlebars or on the back of your seat, but doing so will throw your bike off balance. You'll also be slower and less able to avoid getting hit by cars.
5. Don't carry anything with your hands
Both of your hands should be on your bicycle's handlebars at all times. Don't risk carrying anything while riding your bike unless it's safely stowed in a backpack, in a bike basket or strapped to a rack above your rear tire.
Sometimes a serious bike accident is unavoidable
Serious bicycle collisions are often unavoidable no matter how safe we try to be. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident due to no fault of your own, you may want to look deeper into the circumstances surrounding the incident to determine your legal rights and options.