According to expert bikers, chances of avoiding accidents and staying safe is higher if bicyclists observe the following road rules on how to ride a bicycle properly.
- Be part of the traffic and never ride on the right edge of the road, very close to the gravel shoulder, as this may be covered with sand or other debris that can make your bike’s wheel to to skid and cause you to fall;
- Ride on the right side of the street, at least three to four feet from the gravel shoulder. Along this path, other drivers, even pedestrians, will easily see you. Traffic is also slower at the right side of the road, so this will be a safer path, than at the left, where vehicles run faster;
- Ride, at least, three feet away from cars parked at the side of streets. This is will keep you safe from car doors suddenly being opened or from cars starting and trying to merge back into the flow of traffic;
- When riding downhill and your bike begins to run as fast as cars, ride in line with them. Pull a bit to the right, when you begin to fall behind. When passing a car, however, make sure that you pass on its left side; a driver normally expects to be passed on its left side; and,
- At a red light or at stop signs, stop behind the car that is already stopped awaiting the green light. Never stop at the right side of a vehicle, especially a truck as it may crush you if it makes a right turn.
There are many other precautions that bikers need to observe when riding, especially at night. But there is no safer and smoother way ever to ride than by observing traffic safety rules and riding with the flow of the traffic. Riding this way is also a guarantee that, if ever an accident occurs, your personal injury lawyer will be able to fight for your rights and earn for you the maximum compensation that the law allows, since you will clearly be without fault in the accident that occurred.
In 2009, about 51,000 were injured and as many as 600 were killed in bicycle accidents. These numbers continue to increase, showing the great danger bikers are exposed to. In fact, in 2013, fatal bicycle accidents increased to 900, while about 494,000 were rushed to emergency departments due to injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common causes of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles include:
- motor vehicle drivers directly and abruptly turning in front of bikers;
- drivers, from parking areas or driveways, driving into traffic and cutting a biker’s right of way
- drivers failing to slow down at intersections
- drivers running a stop sign or traffic light
- drivers not taking time to double-check for incoming bikers
- reckless driving due to negligence or alcohol influence
The (NHTSA) continuously reminds all motorists of their duty to respect the rights of bicyclists on the road, as this is one of the best ways to make transportation smooth and safe for all. Legally, bicycles have the same rights on the road as any other type of motor vehicle. Unfortunately, though, many bicycle riders get involved in accidents because many drivers refuse bikers the space they need on the road. These accidents often result to severe injuries or death.
In its website, the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier says, “bicycles are a fun form of exercise and recreation. For others, they serve as an alternative form of transportation with significant economic and environmental benefits. Whether they are riding for transportation or purely for fun, cyclists face significant risk of injury if they are involved in an accident with a car, truck, or other vehicle.”
Sad to say, but “even cyclists who are extremely diligent about their safety run the risk of being involved in an accident and sustain injuries, such as cuts and bruises, sprains and broken bones, internal organ damage or spinal injuries. Bicyclists who sustain these and other injuries due to another person’s irresponsible actions shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences by themselves. Contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident may help an injured bicyclist understand his/her legal rights and the possible legal actions he/she can pursue against the liable motorist.