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Preventing Bicycle Accidents at Construction Sites

If you are bicycling through or near construction sites, you face a number of added obstacles and hazards. Construction sites may have uneven ground which can lead you to fall off your bicycle and sustain a head injury or a broken bone. Construction sites may also cause you to collide with workers or pieces of equipment. Here are some ways you can help prevent this type of accident and the personal injuries it can cause:

1) Plan ahead. Read about construction projects in your area online or in the newspaper. Your State Department of Transportation website may also list construction sites. Consider planning a route which does not take you past a construction site. This is often your safest option.

2) If you drive past a construction site, take stock. If you cannot avoid a construction site, evaluate the situation as you approach. Is there a detour for bicycle? Is there a “Road Closed to Bicycles” sign? Respect all signs and detours. If there are no detours or signs prohibiting bicycles, you may pass through the site, using some extra caution.

3) As you approach a construction site, look for flagmen and workers. Make sure that these workers can see you. They may stop you and ask you where you are headed. Be pleasant, but if you are barred from passing, speak to the Resident Engineer or the Project Safety Coordinator to handle things.

4) Hope off your bike if you are in doubt. This is a safer option if a construction site is very complex. Make sure that equipment operators can see you. Make eye contact. If you hear and see that a truck or piece of equipment is back up, move out of the way.

5) Obey the rules. Even if you don’t agree with signs or rules, do not assume that just because your bicycle is small that you can go anywhere. Signs and rules are there to protect you, too, so do not ride your bicycle where you are forbidden. If a construction site seems to have unreasonable rules, complain to the city.