Do you ride your bicycle around the neighborhood to get some exercise and fresh air or you depend on your bike to get where you need to go? Either way, you probably already know that not all drivers are as cognizant of bicyclists as they should be. Some even seem to resent the fact that they have to share the road with them.
A car vs. bike crash usually ends far worse for the cyclist than the driver. Last month, a 65-year-old Mississippi man died from injuries he suffered several weeks earlier when a vehicle struck him while he was cycling in the middle of the afternoon on U.S. 61 South near Vicksburg.
Even when you have the right of way, don’t assume that drivers will see you or respect your right to be where you are. By taking some simple safety precautions, you can lessen your chances of becoming a victim.
Bright or at least light-colored clothing helps drivers see you. Better yet, put reflective stripes or tape on your clothing, bike, helmet and shoes.
Know the rules of the road for bicyclists and obey them. If you have children, make sure they know them before you let them ride without you. Young children (generally those under 10) are better off riding on the sidewalk than the street.
Remember that you need to ride in the same direction as traffic, and obey traffic signs and lights and be aware of lane markings. If there are no signs, always stop and make sure no vehicles coming before you enter another road.
Ride in a straight line. Don’t swerve around within the bike lane or in between cars if you’re riding in traffic. If you have to turn or make some other move, signal in plenty of time and make sure the drivers around you see you. Make eye contact with them.
Remain alert. Don’t ride with your earbuds in. Watch out for hazards on the ground. Don’t get so consumed in a conversation with a fellow cyclist that you get distracted.
If you or a loved one has already suffered an injury in a bike accident caused by a reckless, negligent or distracted driver, make sure you get the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages. An experienced attorney can help you.