Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Steps to Prevent Bicycle Accidents this Spring
Whether for exercise, recreation, or traveling to work, there are numerous reasons why you might choose to ride a bicycle. Whatever the reason you decide to ride a bike, there are important precautions to take in order to help you avoid being hit by motor vehicles. While these types of accidents can give rise to personal injury claims, allowing you to potentially recover compensation for injuries you sustain, it is much less painful to avoid these accidents in the first place.
Riding in the Road
You are perfectly within your legal right to ride a bicycle in the road, and motorists must share the road with you. Indeed, in many places, you are not even allowed to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, thus forcing you onto the road. However, when riding in the road, the same responsibilities placed on motorists are placed on bicyclists. Adhering to these responsibilities can decrease the chances that you will be hit by a vehicle.
When entering a road, you must yield to oncoming traffic. It is particularly dangerous when a bicyclist enters the road from a driveway, alley, or from between parked cars. A motorist will not be expecting that in any sort of traffic, including a bike, will be entering from the middle of the block. Before entering the road, be sure to stop and check both ways to ensure it is safe.
It is also safer, as well as required to ride with traffic. Drivers do not expect traffic to be coming from the wrong direction, so riding against traffic can be very dangerous. As a result of the unexpectedness of a bicyclist riding in the wrong direction, coupled with the smaller size of a bicycle, a motorist may not see you approaching.
Riding your bike in a uniform and predictable manner will also help to avoid accidents. This means you should ride in a straight line and avoid swerving. When you wish to change lanes or make a turn, you should use hand signals to alert motorists. It is also important to obey all traffic laws, signals, and signs. In other words, you should ride your bicycle in the same manner as you would drive a vehicle.
Riding at Night and After Drinking
If at all possible, you should avoid riding a bike at night, as motorists often have difficulty seeing bicyclists when it is dark. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 48% of bicyclist deaths occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight. However, if you cannot avoid riding a bike at night, you should wear bright clothing and some sort of reflective clothing. Further, your bike should be equipped with a headlight and a rear reflector.
It is also helpful to avoid drinking alcohol and riding a bike. Balance, coordination, focus, and reaction time are all affected when a cyclist is under the influence of alcohol. After consuming alcohol, the best choice is find another means of transportation.
If you have been injured as a result of a bicycle-related accident, contact an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney. The team at De Castroverde Law Group has the experience to help you with your case today.