In the summertime one of the most fun and eco-friendly means of transportation is by bicycle. Since bicyclists share the road with motor vehicles, extra precautions should be taken when cruising to avoid injury, or even death.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (20%) and in urban areas (71%). This means that many accidents occur during peak traffic hours.
Practicing defensive riding techniques could save your life. Some defensive bicycle techniques include:
- Wearing a helmet: If you are under 18 years of age, the law in California requires you to wear a helmet. If you are over 18 years of age, it is just plain smart. Reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by wearing a properly fitted helmet that has passed the safety tests of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Find out more about bicycle helmets at www.cpsc.gov.
- Using hand signals: Learning and using basic hand signals will assist others in determining your intentions to turn, change lanes, and stopping. Learn about hand signals from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration here https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/8009-handsignals.pdf.
- Being visible: At night, a white headlight visible from the front and a red reflector in the back are required by law in California. Go the extra step and wear reflective clothing. Find out about California's laws regarding bicycle headlights and other regulations here http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=VEH§ionNum=21201.
- Paying attention to car doors: Although it may be your instinct to ride close to parked cars to avoid traffic, pay attention to whether someone is inside about to open the door. Many accidents occur when a driver opens their door unexpectedly. This is called, "dooring".
Get familiar with bicycle safety prior to riding so you can have fun while you cruise with your family and friends.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle versus automobile accident contact the Law Offices of Scott D. Hughes to see if you may have a claim for damages. The consultation is at no cost to you and we are happy to help.