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10 Safety Tips for Bike Riding on the Roadway

Avoid Bike Accidents and Injuries With These Top 10 Safety Tips

California’s streets are primarily dominated by vehicles, however, motorists are still expected to share the road with bicyclists. Due to the significant amount of vehicles on the road, it can be risky for a bicyclist to travel to their destined location, which is why it is important for them to learn safety tips to prevent any potential chances of an accident from occurring. Below, our expert team of bike accident attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down bike riding safety tips for bicyclists to use while out on the road.

10 Safety Tips for Bike Riding on the Roadway

  1. It is highly encouraged for bicyclists to wear protective gear, such as a helmet, reflective vest, and elbow pads. Even though wearing a helmet is not mandatory for those who are 18 and over, it would still be a good idea to have one on to protect yourself from sustaining head injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Putting on a helmet may also reduce the chances of a fatal bicycle accident. In a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), out of 843 fatal accidents that took place from 2010 to 2019, about 62 percent of bicyclists were found wearing no helmet, while 15 percent had on a helmet.
  2. Know your bike hand signals. Bicycles do not offer light signals to communicate with vehicles and other bicyclists nearby. It is important to know how to use hand signals to avoid getting into an accident. To slow down or make a stop, you must place your left hand downward at a 90 degree angle with your palm open. To make a left turn, you need to straighten your left arm to your side. For a right turn, you have to have your right arm extended to your side. Lastly, with an alternative right turn, you must have your left hand placed upward at a 90 degree angle with your hand remaining flat.
  3. Make sure to use your hand signals, horn, bell, and/or your voice to communicate with others on the road. Doing either of these actions will help you become more visible to drivers nearby, which may reduce the chances of getting into a bicycle accident.
  4. Riding on the sidewalk is legal in California, however, some cities have set up strict regulations on where a bicyclist may be allowed to occupy a sidewalk. As of now, a bicyclist is not allowed to ride on sidewalks near business districts. Bicyclists should also avoid making a transition from the sidewalk to the road when a vehicle is nearby. Performing this type of action could startle a driver and may influence them into making a last minute decision to prevent an accident. Unfortunately, a driver could also crash into the bicyclist if they are not given enough time to react. Overall, you may ride on the sidewalk, however, you should be very cautious when doing so.
  5. Obey the rules of the road. Bicyclists should follow California’s road rules and regulations to keep themselves safe from harm’s way. Failing to do so may result in an accident and/or a traffic ticket.
  6. Ride with traffic, never against it. Some bicyclists believe that riding against traffic is safer since they can see the vehicles approaching them. However, this is not the case. Riding against traffic makes it dangerous for everyone on the road and may cause a head-on collision.
  7. Do not pass other bicyclists by going on the right side. If one must pass by, then it should be done on the left side. Moreover, it is also recommended for a bicyclist to stay in a single file line while on the road to avoid getting into an accident.
  8. Keep a safe distance from others on the road. Bicyclists should not tailgate vehicles and must leave a minimum distance of 3 feet from the car in front of them. Vehicles are encouraged to stay at the same distance behind a bicyclist, as well.
  9. Make eye contact with motorists. Making eye contact with vehiclists is a form of communication that assures they acknowledge your existence on the road and right to be there. It also reinforces right-of-way rules.
  10. Ride with confidence. Bicyclists who believe in their bike riding skills can create a safe environment when out on the road. If a vehicle notices a bicyclist who acts hesitant or swerves on the road, it makes the driver just as nervous and can cause an accident.

Need a Bike Accident Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

If you have sustained injuries due to a bike accident, our experienced team of personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for losses you have suffered including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (888) 341-9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.

Read More About Bike Accidents

Our excellent team of bike accident attorneys have created several resources for you to read through. Feel free to browse these topics and read the ones you would like to learn about more. 

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