Bicyclists must be constantly aware of their surroundings when traveling
on public streets and roadways, as they are more susceptible to serious
injury in a crash. In even a low speed
bicycle accident, the bicyclist can suffer a
back injury, or another form of catastrophic harm. Staying alert and keeping basic
safety methods and hints in mind can help you avoid a collision with a
motorist and stay safe and sound.
Whenever you ride your bicycle, remember these basic safety tips:
Safety equipment: Never go bicycling without all of the appropriate safety equipment. Florida
does not have a helmet law for adults over the age of 21, but this does
not mean you should ride your bike without a helmet. According to the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), helmets are the single-most effective
way to prevent head and brain injuries in an accident. When a helmet is
used and fitted appropriately, it has an 86.5% chance on average of reducing
the impact to the bicyclist’s head to the point where no lasting
harm is done.
Be visible: You can also improve the safety of your situation while riding your bicycle
by wearing gear and clothing that makes you more visible to others on
the road. Bright colors stand out easily among traffic and reflective
patches or stripes will glow at night whenever a car’s headlights
approach. You can also buy lights to affix to your bicycle to improve
Training: Confidence in your own bicycle riding skills is crucial to stay safe while
you are riding, especially while around traffic. If you do not know how
to control your bicycle in hectic situations, you might want to practice
maneuvers and balance in a public park or around your neighborhood.
Command your lane: Sometimes a bicyclist hugs the absolute edge of their lane when traveling
on a street with cars in an attempt to give the cars ample passing space.
A bicyclist who does not take more space in the lane can actually endanger
themselves, though. They will shrink their own visible presence, increasing
the chances of a driver not registering the bicyclist is there and either
rear ending them or sideswiping them. Cars waiting to turn from intersecting
lanes may also jut out the nose of their vehicles directly in front of
the bicyclist unknowingly if the rider is clinging too closely to the
Use bike paths: Wherever designated bike paths or lanes have been paved throughout your
city, you should make good use of them. Not only do they often provide
a way to major community hubs without having to worry about cars, but
they also decrease your liability dramatically in case you do get hit
by a motorist. By abiding by the rules and using bike lanes, you show
you took every precaution to stay safe while the other party in your bicycle
accident did not.
Steer clear of sidewalks: It might be tempting to ride your bicycle down sidewalks to distance yourself
from traffic, but this will most likely increase your chances of getting
hurt, or hurting someone else. Pedestrians pay even less attention to
their surroundings than drivers. You could try to cycle past someone on
foot, only to have them unexpectedly cross right in front of you, resulting
in a serious crash. Sidewalks are all the more dangerous if there are
cars parked alongside the road or shopfronts along the path, as doors
can be swung open in front of you with no warning.
Representation for When a Bicycle Accident Does Occur
Even with all possible precautions and safety gear, you could end up in
a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another party. In case this
does happen – or if it already has – you can depend on The
Pittman Firm, P.A. and its Florida bicycle accident attorney, Wes Pittman.
The firm brings 30+ years of legal experience and genuine compassion to
each case it handles, giving clients peace of mind from the beginning
to the end.
Contact the firm today to discuss how you can seek fair compensation for any damages after
a bicycle accident.