Cycling is a healthy and enjoyable way to commute, but it comes with certain risks. Even with the proper safety gear, bikers can suffer broken bones, cuts, brain damage and worse in accidents.
Although nobody can control the actions of other motorists, there are several steps that bikers can take to reduce their likelihood of crashing. These include:
- Taking a cycling course;
- Avoiding the curb;
- Wearing bright clothing;
- Making eye contact with other drivers;
- And using hand signals.
If the worst happens and you suffer an injury in a wreck that another driver caused, contact Morris Bart, LTD. A Gulfport accident lawyer can evaluate your collision, talk to witnesses and determine if you may have grounds for a claim.
Here are six tips for safer commuter cycling:
- Take a Cycling Course
Most cyclists learn to ride when they are young. Although taking lessons may seem silly, an advanced riding course could save your life. According to BikeRadar, these classes teach riders how to avoid and react to dangerous situations.
- Avoid the Curb
Many cyclists believe it is safest to ride close to the curb. After all, this separates you from traffic. The truth, however, is that you are safer riding in the middle of the lane.
A significant number of crashes happen because bikers clip curbs, and riding in the lane can make you more visible to approaching vehicles. Aim to cycle at least 19 inches from the curb.
- Wear Bright Clothing
According to LabReform.org, it is critical that bicyclists take steps to make them more visible to other drivers. Wearing bright-colored clothing can help you stand out – especially at night. You should also don a reflective vest, and install reflectors on the front and back of your bicycle and helmet.
- Make Eye Contact with Drivers
Try to make eye contact with drivers when you are crossing traffic. Make sure other drivers have seen you before entering a dangerous situation.
- Use Hand Signals
Hand signals can help you communicate with other drivers when you turn or change lanes. Be sure to signal your intentions well before you execute the maneuver. Extend your arm completely so other drivers will notice it. Make your actions easy to predict.
- Avoid Riding on Sidewalks
Riding on sidewalks may seem safer than biking in the street, but this actually increases the likelihood of a crash by a factor of 2 to 9. It is particularly dangerous if you ride fast.
Bikers on sidewalks are especially vulnerable when crossing the road or passing driveways. Other motorists may not check the sidewalk before turning or entering the road. You should ride in the street whenever possible.
If you were injured by a negligent driver in Mississippi, contact a Gulfport accident attorney from Morris Bart, LTD. You may be entitled to compensation for lost income, health-care bills and other damages. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.