Safer Summer Bicycling Tips

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release reminding bicyclists to think safe, ride safe and be safe this summer. Sadly, bicyclists, along with pedestrians, are one of the few roadway user groups that continue to see an increase in injuries and fatalities each year. Summer is a busier time than ever for cyclists too. Children are out of school, and everybody is enjoying the warm weather. The NHTSA has a variety of tips for cyclists and drivers to improve bicycle safety this season.

Tips for Bicyclists

• Always wear a well-fitted helmet that meets safety standards.
• Be as visible as possible. Bright colors and reflective materials are great. Blinking lights are also a good choice, especially if you’re riding at night.
• Always ride alert. Never ride impaired or distracted.
• Follow traffic laws, obey all signs, signals, and markings and always go the same direction of traffic.
• Check your bicycle before hitting the road. Make sure your tires, brakes, handlebars, and seat are all in good working order.
• Be predictable. This means you should always signal lane changes and don’t do anything that a driver wouldn’t expect.

Tips for Drivers

• Drivers need to be predictable too. This means you should always signal lane changes and turns. Bicyclists are expecting you to make your intentions clear.
• Don’t drive distracted or impaired. Looking away from the road for a split second can have deadly consequences for cyclists, pedestrians, and other roadway users.
• Allow plenty of room when passing cyclists.
• Obey all posted speed limits, signs, and signals.
• Always drive defensively.
• Yield to bicyclists as if they are motorists.
• Always come to a full stop before making a right turn on red. Look left-right-left and behind to check for cyclists approaching from the rear.

After a Bicycle Accident

Since bicyclists aren’t protected as well as traditional passenger vehicle occupants, they can become devastatingly injured in seemingly minor wrecks. Even with reflective clothing and safety-rated helmets, bicycle riders can suffer severe injuries including head trauma and spinal cord injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free consultation today.

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