Accidents involving falls and cars are the most common before riding. It could result in serious or long-term injuries and even death. Riders must be equipped with knowledge about bike safety tips for cyclists riding on the road to avoid an accident. In 2019, did you know that:
- It’s between 6 PM and 9 PM when most bicycle accidents that resulted in death happen.
- Death caused by bike accidents happens commonly in urban areas.
- The accident death rate in a bicycle is 6 times higher for male bikers.
- One out of four bicycle accidents is due to drinking alcohol before or while riding a bike.
Riding a bicycle could also be dangerous when the rider is not knowledgeable in different safety habits and protocols. You must practice riding responsibly at all times. Here are road safety tips for bike riders that will help you avoid an accident.
- Always Inspect Your Equipment Before Riding
- Wear A Helmet
- Ride At Your Comfortable Speed
- Be Visible On The Road At All Times
- Choose A Comfortable Size Of Bike For You
- Obey Road Rules
- Have Regular Maintenance
- Concentrate On Riding
- Hold The Handlebards With Both Hands
- Hand Signals For Cycling
- Improve Your Riding Skills
1. Always Inspect Your Equipment Before Riding
Checking your bike and equipment is very important when riding a bicycle. If all parts of the bike are working properly, it will help to keep you safe on your ride.
- Make sure that you have adjusted the seat to the proper height.
- All parts of the bike must be working accordingly
- Maintain correct tire pressure
- The bike must have reflectors
- It is recommended that the bike is equipped with a headlight, horn, and rear-view mirror.
2. Wear A Helmet
Riders should know why is it important to wear a helmet while riding a bike. Helmets are proven to help avoid life-changing injuries. This safety gear is very essential when riding bikes on the road. Serious injury in the upper or head area which could cause death will be minimized. Never wear a helmet that has been used when involved in a previous accident. The structural integrity of the helmet could be compromised already and will no longer give full protection.
3. Ride At Your Comfortable Speed
Don’t ride so fast when there are other vehicles or pedestrians nearby. Ride at a speed where you have full control of the bike. Know your limits in getting too fast on a bike. Always consider the road, traffic, and weather condition. Riding bikes on the road slowly give riders time to react if there are hazards.
4. Be Visible On The Road At All Times
You should be visible to other drivers and pedestrians. This will help them notice you easily at night to avoid a collision. When riding at night, reflective gear and installing reflectors on the bike will be beneficial. Riding during the day is still safer.
5. Choose A Comfortable Size Of Bike For You
Having the right size of a bike which you could ride comfortably is important for your safety. You can maneuver it with ease and you will feel more confident since you could use your skills properly. In choosing a perfect bike for you, make sure that both of your feet will be flat on the ground when you stand with it.
6. Obey Road Rules
As a responsible rider, you must be aware of and follow the different rules of the road. By doing this, it will keep you and the people around you safe from bike accidents. It will be helpful also if you research bicycle traffic rules in your city or state before heading out on a trip. Here are the common bike safety tips and rules on the road that you must know.
- Be familiar with the traffic laws.
- Follow the direction of the road in a single file.
- Concentrate on the road and the environment.
- Be alert at all times.
- Be careful when crossing intersections
- Use hand signals on bike or horns to communicate with other vehicles.
- Don’t hitch to other vehicles.
- Slow down when there are other pedestrians
- Maintain distance from other vehicles
- Check on your left, right, and behind when crossing streets from a sidewalk
- Differentiate bike lanes to improve safety
7. Have Regular Maintenance
Regularly check your brakes for any damages or signs of wearing that affect the braking performance. Make it a habit to check your bike especially when planning to go for a long trip. Replace the parts that normally wear due to usage such as the brake pads, cables, tires, etc. When you think some parts are not performing well already, replace the parts or bring them to your trusted bike shop and repair shop for proper maintenance.
8. Concentrate On Riding
Avoid any distractions while riding a bike. Don’t use a music player, phone, any gadgets, or anything that will distract you while riding. If it’s necessary to do something, pull over to a safe area. Your full concentration must be on the road to ensure that you will avoid any hazards or possible accidents.
9. Hold The Handlebards With Both Hands
Both hands should always be on the handlebars. This is to ensure that you have full control of the bike at all times. There could be hazards on the road that suddenly appear like potholes, uneven pavements, crossing pedestrians, cars, and more. Even you are confident enough with your skills, it is still recommended to use both hands at all times.
10. Hand Signals For Cycling
Just like other vehicles on the road, doing hand signals on bike direction will be a very effective habit in keeping you safe. Other motorists will be aware and prepared when you let them know if you will turn left or right. Bicycles don’t usually have built-in turn indicators but you can use your hands to point where you are moving next. Make sure to do this early before turning or changing your directions.
11. Improve Your Riding Skills
Develop your skills until you become fully confident in your riding using your bike. You can start by practicing in a safe area where there are few pedestrians and possible road hazards. You may also invest in improving your skills by attending bike classes. Lessons about riding responsibly could even save your life.
Avoiding Different Kinds Of Bicycle Accidents
1. Crossing or Merging Vehicles from the Right
This accident happens when a vehicle is pulling out of a parking lot, a driveway, or from a side street on the right while the bicycle is riding straight on the road. To avoid this kind of collision, the rider must:
1. Slow Down
Drive slowly when there’s a coming vehicle from another section of the road. You can make a full stop if necessary to avoid colliding with other motorists.
2. Riding on the Further Left
When not turning right in an intersection, riding on the further left section away from the curb will give you a wider distance from other vehicles. You will be more visible and other motorists could avoid hitting you due to the distance of your bike from other vehicles.
3. Use Your Arm
You may use your arm to signal your direction or to get the attention of other vehicles on the road.
4.Use Headlight When Driving at Night
Having a headlight on your bicycle is a requirement by law when driving at night. You can use this to warn other motorists that will cross from the right to be cautious of you. This will make you more visible and other motorists could be extra cautious when you drive nearby to them.
2. Crossing Sidewalks
This happens in an intersection when a rider is on the sidewalk and trying to cross the street when suddenly a turning vehicle hits a rider or pedestrian. This is extremely dangerous because other motorists are not expecting someone in the middle of the street. To prevent this, the rider should:
- Never ride on the sidewalk
- Cross the road carefully and slowly
- Use your headlight when riding at night
3. Opening Door Instantly
There are some drivers or passengers that instantly open the vehicle’s door without checking for any incoming cars, motorcycles, or bicycles. The accident happens in this inconsiderate manner because other vehicles didn’t anticipate the scenario. Especially in the middle of the road, many cyclists were injured in this kind of accident.
Avoid this accident by always riding on the left section of vehicles when overtaking. Be cautious in this kind of scenario when riding near other cars, vans, or trucks. Always keep a distance from other vehicles. When it is necessary to ride closely to other vehicles due to the traffic condition, ride slowly and make sure to be visible as much as possible.
4. Stopping on the Right Section of a Car that will Make a Right Turn
When a rider stopped on the right side of a vehicle in a stoplight, an accident could happen when the vehicle makes a right turn when the light went green. The bicycle rider could be hit when he or she goes straight. Cars or trucks might not be able to see the rider easily on the right section of the road which could cause the collision.
Avoid this accident by not stopping in the blind spot of any vehicle. Just stop behind the car, van, trucks, and other motor vehicles. Be alert on the road and keep your distance when the traffic started to move again.
5. Vehicle Crashing to the Bike from Behind
The bicycle is overtaking or changing direction to the left when suddenly another vehicle hits the bike from behind. The accident happens due to the inability to anticipate the movement of other vehicles. The speed and visibility of the vehicle and the bike are factors in this scenario. Prevent this accident by:
- Making direction signals using turn indicators when available or hand signals on bike.
- Don’t drive in and out on empty parking lanes. An accident could happen when you try to merge back to traffic again.
- Making it a habit to use the side mirrors.
- Peeking behind you before changing lanes or directions.
6. Sudden Right Turn
There could be vehicles that will overtake the bicycle but will make a sudden right turn which results in a collision. This accident happens due to the miscalculation of the vehicle’s speed and the bike’s distance. A bicycle could not easily avoid hitting the vehicle or being hit by the vehicle even slamming the brakes in this scenario. To prevent this kind of accident, the bicycle rider must:
- Use the side mirrors when crossing an intersection
- Avoid riding on the sidewalks
- Take the whole lane if it is too tight for a car to overtake a bicycle
7. Vehicle Turning Right While Bike is Passing on the Right
If a bicycle is passing on the right section of the traffic, some vehicles will make a right turn that could hit the bicycle in this scenario. Avoid collision by:
- Always checking of any vehicles behind you that might speed up and make a turn
- Never overtake on the right
Riding on the opposite side of the traffic is very dangerous and reckless. This is the accident when another vehicle hits a rider usually when making a turn because the rider is riding against the flow of traffic. This also could happen on a straight road when someone rides in the wrong direction
Avoid this accident by not riding in this reckless manner. You could involve other people in an accident due to this act. Here are other reasons why not to drive in the wrong way.
- You will not be able to make a safe turn.
- This is against the law
- Incoming traffic is getting faster when you drive straight ahead against the traffic.
- Drivers are not usually expecting someone to drive in that manner which makes it very dangerous.
9. Sudden Left Turn
This happens when a vehicle coming towards the bicycle and makes a sudden left turn which resulted in a collision. In this scenario, the bicycle could crash into the coming vehicle or the vehicle might crash to the bicycle rider directly. To ensure bike safety, follow these tips.
- Avoid riding on sidewalks
- Use a headlight when riding at night
- Have something reflective material on the bike or your clothes for better visibility even in the morning.
- You should never overtake on the right of a vehicle.
- Drive slowly when the road is busy.
10. Direct Crash from Behind
A vehicle directly hits the bicycle even he or she is in the proper lane. There are many factors in this kind of accident which could be an error from the driver. Avoid being hit by cars from behind by doing the following bike safety tips.
- Ride in slow traffic streets
- Install side mirrors
- Wear reflective clothes or gear
- Keep distance from the curb
- Ride in wider streets
- Install rear light on the bike for better visibility
- Ride in backstreets when possible during busy traffic hours
Follow these bike safety tips to avoid accidents and injuries. Remember that riding irresponsibly might put other people at risk, not just yourself. These bike safety facts will surely help you avoid accidents and even keep other people away from danger.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and suffered injuries, you could be entitled to claims that will cover all the damages. Our experienced personal injury law attorneys at Freeway Law could help you throughout the process and get the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us at (844) 443-7339 for a free consultation.