Bicycle Accidents Prevention
While bicycling can be an enjoyable mode of transportation and a good workout, it does come with the possibility of a bicycle accident in California. Cyclists face dangers such as accidents with motor vehicles, pedestrians, and obstacles, which can result in serious injury or even death.
In 2020, the number of fatalities resulting from bicycle accidents increased by 8.9% compared to the previous year, with 932 cyclists losing their lives in motor-vehicle traffic crashes. Additionally, nearly 426,000 bike-related injuries were treated in emergency departments in the same year. With that in mind, it is essential to explore strategies for preventing bicycle accidents.
How Can You Prevent Injury While Cycling?
Wearing a helmet, staying visible, and following traffic laws are key ways to prevent accidents and injuries. If you get hurt, a Ventura County lawyer can help protect your rights and compensate you.
Wear a Helmet
One of the best ways to avoid injury while biking is to wear a helmet. In fact, it is arguably the most effective prevention tactic. Research shows it can reduce the risk of brain injury by 58% and the risk of head injury by 60%.
Many areas have laws about helmets, but enforcement is not always strict. To prevent accidents and injuries, put on a helmet regardless of the legal requirements in your city or state.
- Make sure the helmet fits properly.
- Replace it after 5 to 10 years of you using it.
- Replace it if it experiences a significant impact, such as being hit in a collision.
Helmets are also effective because they remind you to remain aware and proactive as you bike. They can help with visibility, too.
To avoid accidents, it is essential to increase your visibility on the road. Wearing bright and reflective clothing, along with using bicycle lights, can significantly aid in this effort.
To enhance your visibility, it is recommended to have headlights and taillights on at all times, including during daylight hours. In addition, it is crucial to have reflective stickers on your helmet, clothes, and bike to make yourself more noticeable to others on the road.
Follow Traffic Laws
Ride in the same direction as traffic, obey traffic signals and signs, and signal your turns and lane changes. Just like a driver would remain aware of their surroundings. Be prepared to react to unexpected situations.
Start With Easier Rides
If you do not have experience bicycling in traffic, start gaining experience in situations with lighter traffic and optimal daytime conditions. From there, you can ease your way into heavier traffic situations at various times of the day and in different weather situations. That way, you should not be faced with completely unexpected and serious situations as a newbie.
Starting with easier rides gives you experience. That helps you understand the different things to remain vigilant about. Focus your attention on the road ahead while being conscious of possible hazards such as crossing pedestrians and turning cars.
Passing a car that has just parked could be a hazard if the driver opens their door without checking for cyclists. Get yourself ready to brake or swerve if a door suddenly opens.
Skip distractions such as eating, listening to music, and using your phone while cycling. Pull over to a safe spot if you need to check your phone or eat a few bites.
Use Bike Lanes and Paths
Cycle in designated bike lanes or on bike paths whenever they are available. They are safer and more enjoyable because they are specifically designed to reduce hazards.
Check Your Equipment
Critical areas to check regularly include your brakes, tires, and chains. Look them over before each ride. Learn how to make repairs or adjustments if you do not already. Keeping your bike in good shape reduces the chances of accidents and serious injury.
Take a Safety Course
Look for a bicycle safety course offered through bike clubs or community groups. You’ll learn new things, meet other cyclists, and discover cool new places to bike in your area.
Be Careful at Intersections
Many bike accidents occur at intersections. Make eye contact with drivers before you cross a lane, and signal your intentions clearly. For example, you can signal right turns by extending your right arm or upturning your left arm.
More than 10,000 cyclists are injured each year in California, and more than 100 are killed. If you are involved in a bicycle accident in California, a personal injury attorney Thousand Oaks can help you get compensation for your injuries and suffering, among other things. Call Mark S. Glazer, APC, today to talk with our Ventura County lawyer.