When you’re riding your bike, it can be easy to forget that one small mistake can lead to a serious accident. As a professional legal office, we have dealt with many personal injury cases involving cyclists. Bike safety is a skill that you learn, and every time you ride a bicycle, you are practicing your safety skills. Here are some tips on ensuring your next ride is a safe one.
- Helmets. Whether you are commuting to work or cycling down the street, wearing a helmet should be as second nature to you as fastening your seatbelt in a car. A helmet can be the difference between a small fumble and permanent brain damage, so be sure to engrain wearing a helmet into your routine.
- Be visible. When you are on a bicycle, you want to be sure that others can see you. Not being seen by a driver for even a second can lead to an unnecessary accident. Wear reflective clothing, such as a jacket, or use reflective stickers or strips to make it much more likely that you will be seen by drivers. Also, use lights on your bicycle, such as a steady one for the front and a flashing one for the back of your bike.
- Ride predictably. You should always try to behave in such a manner that other cyclists and drivers can predict where you are going to go. Be sure to stop at stop signs, red lights, and pedestrian crosswalks. Do not swerve in and out of lanes.
- Be alert. Much like driving a car, you should not be losing focus when you are riding. Though there is a much lower chance you will injure someone else, being a cyclist means you are at risk of seriously hurting yourself. Watch for parked cars opening their doors, cars turning, and other behaviours that drivers are exhibiting.
- Communicate. Use hand signals and make eye contact with drivers when you can. The more you are able to communicate, the safer you will be. This ties in with being predictable as well, as if you can clearly communicate with a car that is about to take a turn, for example, you can completely avoid a potential accident.
Safety should always come first, and you should practice it as often as you can. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have been injured, whether as a cyclist, pedestrian, driver, or any other type of personal injury, our team at MG Law can help you through the case. Most importantly, wear a helmet, and use the safety skills you have learned from being a pedestrian and a driver. Riding a bicycle is fun, but it can be quickly ruined by a single injury, so stay safe!