On the road with plenty of traffic, a bicyclist must prepare in advance for the unpredictable nature of roads. Keep reading to see how you can avoid one of our most common injury cases — bicycle accidents.
Check your bike: Before a ride, take a minute to double-check your bike including gears, brakes, tires, and quick releases to prevent malfunction and crashes. I like to ride in a small loop to test my brakes and gears and bunny-hop to feel for play in the wheels. If anything feels off, stop and make adjustments. Being able to safely stop and go provides an extra level of assuredness, especially when making quick maneuvers on city streets.
Wear your protection: Your helmet should be on while riding your bike no matter your familiarity with the road or confidence in your abilities. In addition to your helmet, reflective vests and bright-colored clothing allow you to stand out in the sea of traffic. To take your protection to another level, try reflective tape and mirrors on your bike. If you are riding just after dawn or before dusk, make sure that you have a front and a rear light that is charged and flashing. Try to think of what a reasonably careful person would do to prevent accidents.
Know your hand signals: Before riding your bike, you should be aware of the basic hand signals of left, right, and stop. Without tail lights, drivers at an intersection can know which way you intend to go if at all.
Follow the law: While biking in busy areas, it’s best to know and follow the law to ensure your safety and that of others. Take the extra second to obey the law, including traffic signals and stop signs.
This is not legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer to discuss your specific case. Consultations are free.