7 Tips for Riding Your Bicycle in Traffic
Safety Tips for Cyclists
According to a recent study, California is one of the worst states in the U.S. when it comes to bicycle safety. Between 2010 and 2012, cyclist traffic fatalities in California rose by 23 to 123. That’s close to a 500% increase! While many of these deaths can be attributed to the lack of helmet use and alcohol impairment, the cyclist’s primary concern remains motorists.
Whether you’re a daily commuter or weekend adventurer, keep these tips in mind to stay safe in traffic while bicycling:
- Bicycles are treated as vehicles; therefore follow the same laws as other drivers. This means stopping at all red lights and stop signs.
- The general rule of thumb is to stick to the right of lanes; however, feel free to ride in the middle if it’s necessary for your safety. It’s well within your rights to do so.
- Keep at least three feet between your bicycle and parked vehicles. Otherwise, you may ride straight into a car door that has suddenly been opened into your path. So-called “dooring” accidents can be serious, even fatal.
- Increase your visibility when riding at night. This means using a white headlight and red taillight, and wearing reflective clothing.
- Don’t forget that you have a bell. Ring it to signal your presence when necessary.
- Leave the headphones at home. Hearing your surroundings increases your awareness and thus your safety.
- Use hand signals when making turns. Extent your left arm straight outward for left turns; make an “L” shape for right turns; one hand down signals a stop.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, contact the trusted bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for legal assistance. We can help you get full and fair compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages during recovery, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about your rights and best legal options in a FREE consultation, call us today at (800) 522-7274.