Cycling for health, transportation and sport is popular all throughout California. It is not uncommon to see adults and children alike riding their bikes on sunny days and bike commuters moving through traffic on busy rush hour mornings. A bike can be a useful tool for getting where a person wants to go. It can also pose risks to its rider when ridden near motor vehicles.
Vehicles and bikes should be able to coexist on California roads, but unfortunately, too many accidents between the two occur every year. Bicycle riders are often the victims of these collisions and can suffer significant injuries when such crashes happen. This post will discuss ways that bike riders can stay safe on the roads and drivers can help prevent collisions with cyclists.
Safety tips for bike riders and cyclists
There are many ways that cyclists can protect themselves to stay safe while out for rides. Steps they can take include:
- Ensuring that their bikes are properly fitted to their bodies and that they have performed all needed maintenance on their bikes for optimal operation.
- Wearing safety gear, including but not limited to helmets and guards, and wearing bright colors to make themselves easier to see.
- Following the rules for the road. Bike riders are required to obey traffic signals, signs, and other road rules, just like cars.
- Avoiding distractions like music, food and other tasks that may take a rider’s eyes off the roads.
Even the safest bike rider can suffer serious injuries when they encounter a dangerous driver who does not prioritize the welfare of others. It takes everyone on the roads to keep bike riders and car drivers safe from accidents.
Safety tips for vehicle drivers near cyclists
Drivers operate heavy, fast vehicles that can cause serious harm to individuals on bikes. They must take proactive steps to avoid collisions with cyclists, such as:
- Giving cyclists sufficient clearance. This means driving around bikes and riders with enough space as not to clip or crowd them when passing.
- Watching out for bikes when turning. A cyclist may ride up on a driver’s left side at a turn, and the driver must be aware of their presence.
- Following the rules of the road, just like bike riders.
- Recognizing the inherent dangers the cyclists face due to their small vehicles and lack of structural protection.
- Avoiding dooring by checking for cyclists before opening car doors into streets where cyclists may be riding by.
Everyone who goes out on the roads must practice safe driving and riding habits to avoid accidents. When drivers fail in their duties of care, they can inflict significant harm on bike riders and leave then with serious, sometimes life-long injuries. When an accident happens, victims should know that they are not alone. They can seek the counsel of supportive and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers.