Staying Safe on the Street: 5 Bicycle Safety Tips

Cycling is a great way to stay healthy and get around while reducing your impact on the environment. Unfortunately, the roads are becoming increasingly dangerous for cyclists. According to recent data, motor vehicle crashes killed 840 cyclists across the U.S. in 2016, which was the highest fatality rate since 1991. A year later the journal Injury Prevention published a paper revealing that these accidents cost adult riders more than $24 billion a year.

The situation is so concerning that the Wall Street Journal devoted an entire podcast to the subject. It found that serious accidents tended to be more common in area where the weather is warmer, such as Florida and the other southern states, but it’s evident that a catastrophic or even fatal accident could occur anywhere.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself from injury during your cycling excursions.

1.  Wear a Helmet

While Missouri state law does not require adult cyclists to wear helmets, doing so is strongly recommended because a well-fitted helmet is your best protection against traumatic brain injury and other forms of head trauma if you are involved in an accident.

2.  Obey the Rules of the Road

Cyclists are regarded as vehicle operators, meaning that you have to obey the same road rules as cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. This means:

  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Watch for lane markings
  • Act as directed when facing traffic signals and traffic signs.

3.  Make Yourself Visible

To improve visibility, especially at night, install a front light on your bicycle and a red reflector or flashing light on the back. Brightly-colored or fluorescent clothing will make you stand out even more. Consider wearing these colors even during the day: these days, too many motorists are distracted and bright clothing will make you easier to see.

4.  Avoid Distracted Riding

Motorists are not the only ones who chat on the phone, text, and listen to music while operating their vehicle. Cyclists are frequently observed doing the same thing, making it difficult for them to spot obstacles in their path or a car pulling out of the driveway in front of them. Leave all electronics safely stored until you reach your destination.

5.  Avoid Blind Spots

If you pull up alongside a car or truck at an intersection, position your bicycle next to the passenger window where the driver can see you more easily. Otherwise, they could turn and collide with you, unaware of your presence. A good rule of thumb: if you can’t see a driver through a window or side view mirror, they can’t see you either.

If you are injured by a careless or negligent motorist while riding your bicycle, contact the bicycle injury attorneys at Ryan R. Cox & Associates. By reaching out to us as soon as possible after the accident, we can start obtaining, examining, and preserving the evidence needed to support a fair recovery. Consultations are free, so please call 636-946-6886 to schedule one today.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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