5 Best Ways to Avoid a Bicycle Accident This Summer

5 Best Ways to Avoid a Bicycle Accident This Summer

Bicycling is a popular pastime, mode of transportation, and form of exercise year-round, but summer months historically see an increase in the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths involving cyclists. With more motorists, more out-of-state drivers, and statistical increases in impaired driving, the summer can be a dangerous time for anyone who ventures onto public roadways. This is especially true for bicyclists, who have virtually no protection against motor vehicles.

If you or your loved ones have plans to get out and about by bike this summer, our legal team at Roman & Gaynor wants you to remember that safety should always be a priority. As avid cyclists and supporters of the local cycling community, our legal team knows the risks riders face, as well as how to protect their rights following preventable wrecks. To help you reduce your risks of becoming a statistic, we have put together the following information about avoiding bicycle accidents:

  1. Make yourself visible – Most bicycle accidents occur when motorists fail to ever see riders. Because of this, you should take steps to make yourself as visible as possible. This includes wearing bright and reflective gear and installing reflectors and lights on your bicycle, especially if you plan on riding at night. Additionally, you should make sure you are visible to motorists by avoiding blind spots and using hand signals to let drivers know of your presence or intent to make a move.
  2. Make eye contact – In addition to making yourself as visible as possible, you should make sure that you are in fact visible to a motorist. This is especially important at intersections or when riding through driveways or parking lot entrances. Before entering these intersections, look at any nearby drivers and ensure you make eye contact. This is the best thing you can do to ensure you are seen and that they will give you the right of way.
  3. Be extra vigilant – Anyone on our public roads should be vigilant, whether behind the wheel or the handlebars. For bicyclists, however, the need for vigilance is critical to safety, as you can’t always trust that drivers will be operating their vehicles safely. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, including the presence of other vehicles. Anticipate driving moves, especially when approaching intersections or turns. Most importantly, avoid distractions that limit your ability to hear or see things around you. This means no headphones blaring music and no cell phone use while on your bike.
  4. Watch out for car doors – “Dooring” accidents are far more common than you would expect. When approaching stopped vehicles or traveling near parked cars, be cautious of any sudden opening of doors and people entering or exiting their vehicles. If you are able to do so safely without veering into vehicle traffic, provide enough space when passing stopped cars, or wait until traffic subsides and you can provide sufficient space.
  5. Share the road – As a bicyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as any motorist. This means that you should always obey the rules of the road, exercise patience when yielding to traffic, safely pass vehicles or other cyclists, stop as stop lights and stop signs, and be aware of the fact that motorists are entitled to the road just as much as you are.

It is an unfortunate truth that even when cyclists take every precaution, safely share the road, and remain extra vigilant, they can still suffer harm at the hands of negligent motorists. Our firm has seen just that on numerous occasions when representing injured riders and families of bicyclists who have suffered harm in all types of wrecks. When these preventable wrecks happen, riders have rights for pursuing a financial recovery of their damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among others.

Over the years, our Clearwater personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients injured by negligent drivers. We also have extensive experience advocating for injured riders and their families. If you wish to discuss a potential case with a member of our team to learn more about your rights and the personal injury claim process, we encourage you to contact us 24/7 for a FREE consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout Pinellas County, Pasco County, and beyond.

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