As summer approaches and the weather warms up, many people dust off their bicycles and head to the streets. The Accident Recovery Team knows that unfortunately most people don’t take the proper bicycle safety precautions before taking their bicycle out on the road. As part of our Summer of Safety initiative, here’s some ways to keep you safe and protected on two wheels.
Bicycle Safety Before You Hit the Streets
Maintenance for Bicycle Safety
Before you even leave the driveway, here are a few things you should check to make sure your bicycle is in working order:
- Tires – Ensure the tires are properly inflated to help reduce a flat. Check the sidewall of your tire for the recommended tire pressure. Look for cracks or excessive wear on your tires.
- Brakes – Squeeze your front and rear brake levers to make sure that the brakes engage properly and smoothly.
- Chain – Be sure that the chain is lubricated and clean.
- Gears – Check that everything is clean to ensure the bike shifts easier and lasts longer. Spin the crank and shift through the gears. The chain should transfer smoothly from gear to gear.
- Fit – Does the bike fit you properly? Should the seat height be adjusted? This is especially important for kids since a bike used the year before may now be too small.
Part of bicycle safety is running through this checklist before every bike ride. Be even more thorough if it’s the first ride of the season or it’s been awhile since the last check.
Be Aware of Traffic Laws
Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules as a motor vehicle when on the roadway. You must obey all traffic signs and drive in the same direction as traffic. If possible, stay in the bike lane. This can help reduce your risk of injury by more than 50%. Accident Recovery Team also recommends that bicyclists be as predictable as possible when riding among vehicles. Use hand signals to indicate your actions 100 feet beforehand. Practice bicycle safety by taking the time to learn basic hand signals before venturing out for the first ride of the season.
What to Wear
Bicycle safety also means wearing the proper clothing while riding a bicycle. It not only keeps you safe, but also makes sure you’re not at fault if you have an accident with a vehicle. Accident Recovery Team encourages bicyclists to wear bright clothing. We also suggest outfitting your bike and clothes with reflective gear and flashing lights. All of these tips help drivers see you and keep you safe while on the road. Also be sure that you always wear a helmet while riding and that it fits properly. Helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by 85%.
Bicycle Safety During Your Ride
Despite all the precautions taken before your bike ride, bicycle safety also means that you’re aware of your surroundings while riding. While in traffic, be aware of vehicles as well as pedestrians and road hazards. Road hazards include potholes, grates, and anything that could cause you to fall and injure yourself. It’s also important to be aware of the weather. Check the forecast before your leave. Pick a route that keeps the sun out of your eyes. Ride during the day instead of at night so there is more visibility. Lastly, keep distractions to a minimum. Don’t wear headphones, listen to music, or use your phone while biking.
What if I’m in a Bicycle Accident with a Vehicle?
If you have been in a bicycle accident and hit your head due to a fall or collision, seek immediate medical care. It is possible to have trauma to the brain even without any external evidence or bleeding. A brain injury may even lead to death. The Accident Recovery Team cannot stress enough that you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident.
Once medically stable, reach out to a personal injury attorney. It’s important to secure evidence and locate witnesses after a bicycle accident. Time is critical to establish your case, and to make sure you receive the compensation you or your loved one is entitled to collect.
Accident Recovery Team Wants to Help
Reach out to the Accident Recovery Team after bicycle accidents. To schedule a free consultation, contact one of our experienced attorneys. We only get paid when we settle or win the case. Recover from your injuries and have peace of mind with the Accident Recovery Team on your side.