Those who bicycle frequently enjoy the benefits of fresh air, healthy exercise, and an eco-friendly commute. As with any good thing, however, there are also drawbacks. Most of the time, bicyclists need to share the road with cars, and dangers such as distracted driving, road rage, and vehicle defects all pose a risk to bicyclists. Read up on these safety tips to ensure your cycling commute remains a safe one.
Before the Bike Ride
The number one rule of riding a bicycle is to wear a helmet. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), helmet use has been estimated to reduce the odds of head injury by 50%. Since traumatic brain injury is the most common cause of death in bicycle accidents, wearing a helmet can go a long way in protecting your health and possibly, your life.
In addition to wearing a helmet properly, bicyclists should practice the following rules before heading out to ensure their ride is a safe one:
- Ride a bike that fits your body; the bigger the bike, the harder it is to control.
- Wear equipment that protects you and makes you visible to others, including reflective clothing and lights on the front and rear of the bike.
- Tuck in shoelaces and pant legs so they do not get caught in the bike’s chain.
- Plan your route to travel on roads with less traffic, particularly during rush hour.
During the Bike Ride
While you are on the road, always remain alert to what is going on around you. Practicing the following steps can help ensure a safe ride:
- Ride with the flow of traffic, rather than against it.
- Obey street lights and signs, just like a car.
- Be on the lookout for hazards to avoid, like potholes, uneven pavement, animals, etc.
- Do not take part in distracting activities while biking, including texting, listening to music, checking your reflection, etc.
Injured in a Bike Accident? Contact Us Today
Unfortunately, even if you follow all of these safety guidelines, it is likely that some motorists will still not respect your right to share the road. With this disregard comes the potential for accidents. If you have been injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent or irresponsible driver, we are here to help.
Contact Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. at (202) 659-8600 for a consultation with our Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys today.