In 2010, 618 bicyclists were killed and another 52,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sometimes motor vehicle accidents are unavoidable, but there are precautions that bicyclists can take to protect themselves. The following bicycle safety tips can decrease a cyclist’s chance of being in an accident:
Maintain Your Bicycle
Just like others vehicles, a bicycle needs maintenance to perform to its best ability. If a bike is not maintained properly, it could cause an accident. Before you jump on your bike, make sure that the tires are inflated. Also, be on the lookout for any cracking or gouges. The brake pads should be examined for any wear and tear. Test the handlebars to make sure that they are working. Make sure that the chain on your bike is secure; it should not slip from the gears. Additionally, run your bike through all of its gears, you should be able to shift gears easily and cleanly.
Make Sure You Have the Proper Equipment
Having the proper equipment can prevent a biker from being injured in the event of an accident. It is recommended that all bicyclists should have the following equipment:
- Helmet- A helmet can protect bicyclists from injuries related to crashes, collisions and falls. A properly fitted helmet can protect a biker from a brain injury, the most common cause of bike-related fatalities. Florida bike laws require all riders and passengers under the age of 16 to wear a helmet.
- Clothing- Cyclists should always wear light colored or reflective clothing. It is imperative to wear bright or reflective clothing at night when motorists’ visibility has decreased.
- Footwear- You can bike any flat shoe; however, it is best to cycle in sneakers or cycling shoes. Bikers should never ride barefoot or in flip-flops, you could sustain a serious injury if you are not wearing the appropriate shoes.
- Lights- It’s imperative for cyclists to be seen, especially at night. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, half of all fatal bicycle accidents in Florida take place after sunset. All bicycles should be equipped with a headlight and taillight for night riding. Cyclists can also attach blinking LED bulbs to their front and rear wheel rims.
- Bells or Horns- Retailers sell bicycle bells and horns in a variety of shapes, colors and ring types. A bell or horn allows you to alert motorists, pedestrians and other bikers of your presence.
Tips for Safe Riding
Bicyclists should follow the guidelines below to avoid having a collision with a motor vehicle accident:
- Never wear headphones while riding a bike. Headphones prevent you from hearing what’s going on in your environment.
- Always use the appropriate hand signals.
- Before entering a roadway, stop and look both ways.
- Ride with both hands on the handlebars, except when signaling to motorists.
- If you are riding in a group, ride in a single-file line, following the flow of traffic.
Florida bicycle accident lawyer s
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be able to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Contact the Florida bicycle accident lawyers at Gordon & Doner to discuss your legal options. Gordon & Doner has helped numerous bicycle accident victims receive compensation for their injuries.
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