The weather is warmer, and conditions are more than amicable for taking out the bike and going for leisurely rides, or taking a break from the trains and commuting to work by pedaling your way through busy streets. However, it’s also prime time for bicycle accidents and people getting seriously hurt, sometimes in ways that could have been avoided. Even the most experienced cycler can get into trouble when they least expect it, and it’s always good to practice caution. Whether you’re a novice or someone who’s been biking for eons, there are a few tips that are worth remembering. The following article covering how bike accidents happen and how to stay safe should help.
Mind What You Wear
It is easier than you think to get your clothes stuck in your pedals, causing you to fall instantaneously. Wear whatever you like, but the more form-fitting, the better. You don’t need to invest in a lot of cycling gear – especially if you’re using your bike to commute to the office or school. At the same time, you shouldn’t wear very long scarves that might come loose and get stuck in the pedals. The same goes for untied shoelaces, very long skirts, and anything else that may get stuck in the pedals and gears, causing you to lose your balance in the blink of an eye.
Another huge reason bicycle accidents tend to happen is that there are plenty of terrible, distracted drivers who often forget that bikers are around and also have the right to use the streets. Drivers who are busy talking on their phone, goofing off with other passengers, or just weaving in and out of traffic without care to pedestrians or bikers are a big risk and a societal menace. Having the number of a bicycle accident lawyer comes in handy in these instances, since they can help to quickly establish fault and protect you from any legal wrangling. Drivers can be caught up in different things happening around them, which is understandable and human, but it’s also important for bicycles to be wary of inebriated or distracted drivers running around in the streets, wreaking havoc everywhere.
Beware Road Rage
Road rage is a phenomenon people typically associate with drivers getting aggressive with each other. The thing is, it is often something that can also occur between drivers and cyclists, with the latter at a huge disadvantage given the fact that even the sturdiest of bikes will not be able to withstand the impact of a car, no matter how small. If you are cycling, keep your eyes focused on the road, stay to your right or stick to the relevant bike lane, and keep up the pace, if possible. If a driver gets mad and feels that you’re moving along slowly, then do your best to not engage and get into a tussle. Make sure you remain in the bike lane and don’t let someone else’s anger freak you out. If you don’t feel safe, then pull over, and wait for the reckless driver to move away from you. Nothing is worth the aggravation or the possibility of getting hurt due to someone else’s issues.
Yes, we are going to stick to drivers for just another second before moving on, since you can’t put too fine a point on it: drivers are generally responsible for most bicycle accidents. While not all drivers are mean and impatient with cyclists on the road, some just have a problem with things that can affect their driving, such as blind spots. Not all drivers can pay attention to their blind spots at all times when changing lanes or making a turn. And because cyclists will remain just on the periphery of their view, they’re easier to miss than big cars.
Another big reason for cycling accidents is that cyclists aren’t always careful. For example, some people are resistant to wearing helmets, especially when biking in residential areas. This false sense of security is unwarranted and can lead to accidents and painful injuries to occur. Also, bicyclists are equally responsible for keeping their eyes on the road and staying focused. Never use earbuds and listen to music while cycling, as sad as the prospect makes you. If you definitely need to listen to something, then use only one earbud and keep the other free so that you remain aware of your surroundings and impending trouble on the road.
Some of the advice out there to cyclists seems to skew heavily towards blaming them for every single misdeed that occurs on the road. While everyone bears a certain measure of responsibility, reckless drivers are also a reality we should all be aware of. Practicing good sense and being prepared is ultimately the best mode of prevention when it comes to cycling accidents.