Bicycles are fun to ride around and convenient forms of transport to explore destinations. They do not require gas, making them cost-effective and eco-friendly at the same time. However, riding a bike on the road comes with its own risks, and thus, you should be careful when you hit the road.
Car and bicycle accidents are not uncommon scenarios in the United States. Nearly a thousand bicyclists get killed in car accidents every year. Nevertheless, following a few safety rules can protect you from hazards. If you were hit by a car while biking, you should consult with a bicycle accident attorney.
Road safety rules all cyclists need to know
- Ride in the direction of the traffic.
Riding in the same flow as the traffic is a basic road rule that all types of vehicles need to follow, and bicycles are no exception. In the United States, you should ride on the right side of the road as much as possible, unless there is a hazard.
- Follow all traffic signs.
Just because you are not operating a motorized vehicle does not give you a free pass to ignore the traffic signs and signals. When riding a bike, you need to act like you are driving a car. You must come at a stop at red or stop signs and move only when the signal says so.
- Ride in a straight line.
When you ride your bike, make your intentions clear to everyone. Do not swerve from one side to another and annoy the other road users. Make a signal before you turn and check behind you before changing lanes.
- Do not ride on the sidewalk.
Sidewalks are meant for people to walk on foot. In many states, it is a law not to ride your bike on the sidewalk, but one should follow it regardless of where they live. You may hurt the people walking on the sidewalk and make yourself less visible on the road. Statistics say that a car-bicycle accident is more likely to occur when biking on the sidewalk.
- Follow helmet laws.
You may think helmets as insignificant, but they are scientifically proven to save your life in accidents. While most places do not even have helmet laws for bikers, they can protect you from severe brain injuries.
- Use bike lanes wherever possible.
Bike lanes are not found everywhere, but it is advised to use them when you spot one. They help motorized vehicles and bicycles share the road safely and with fewer chances of an accident. In some states, police officers may even issue a ticket when they find you not using the lanes.
Bicycle accidents can happen in less than a second, but their impact can last a lifetime. Thankfully, motorists carry insurance to compensate the bicyclists they injure. Contact an attorney to seek damages.