Precautions Bicycle Riders Can Take

Bicycle Accident Lawyer Phoenix, AZ

Riding a bike is a great way to stay in shape, enjoy your surroundings, and cut down on traffic congestion. Cyclists must be careful, however, as a bike is no match for a car or truck, in an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests the following precautions for safe bicycle riding:

  1. MAKE SURE YOUR BICYCLE FITS YOU. Like any other sporting equipment, it is important that your bicycle fits your body. When standing over your bike, there should be 1-2” between you and top bar if using a road bike, and 3-4” if using a mountain bike. Check that the seat is level from front to back and that the seat height allows for a slight bend at your knee when your leg is fully extended. Handlebars should be at the same level as the seat.
  2. CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT. Before riding, make sure to inspect your bicycle. Check that the tires are properly inflated, your brakes are working, and your horn/lights/reflectors are functioning properly.
  3. BE VISIBLE. Regardless of the time of day, wear clothing that makes it easy for others to see you. Neon, fluorescent, and other bright colors are recommended. In addition, helmets and clothing with reflective tape or markings can improve a bicycle rider’s visibility. If you must ride your bike at night, outfit your bike with reflectors and/or lights.
  4. WEAR A (PROPERLY FITTED) HELMET. Helmets are an essential safety precaution for bike riders, but an ill-fitting helmet does not provide the same amount of protection as a helmet that fits you properly. Before riding, learn how to properly fit your bike helmet.
  5. REMAIN IN CONTROL OF YOUR BICYCLE. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Unexpected road hazards could cause the bike wobble or jerk in a split-second, be ready for anything by remaining in control of your bicycle. If you need to carry items, consider wearing a backpack, or getting a basket for your bike.
  6. WATCH FOR ROAD HAZARDS. Just like the driver of a vehicle, a bike rider has a responsibility to be alert while on the road. Lookout for potholes, broken glass, puddles, children playing, & pets.
  7. KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD. Bicycles are considered vehicles in many states, and as such have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Educate yourself on the rules of the road, including:
    • Go with the flow of traffic
    • Obey all traffic laws
    • Yield to traffic
    • Be predictable
    • Stay alert
    • Look before turning
    • Watch out for parked cars and opening doors

If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, contact the law offices of Kamper Estrada, LLP. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you understand what sort of damages you may be entitled to and will fight to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

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