Bicycle accidents claim many lives in Florida and across the country each year. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents have a tendency to be severe because bicyclists are often unprotected on a bicycle while drivers in cars are encased in metal. When a large truck or car hits a bicyclists it is inevitable that injuries will occur, especially since cars and trucks tend to drive much faster than bicycles. Bicycle accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, broken bones, fatalities, brain injuries, and other types of sever injuries. To avoid these injuries, bicyclists need to obey the rules of the road, just like the drivers of any other vehicles. They also need to:
*Stay alert. Being aware of other vehicles around you and being prepared to move quickly out of the way of those vehicles is the best way to avoid injuries. Avoid daydreaming while riding and really focus on the road.
*Obey traffic signs and signals. It is your legal obligation to do so, and these rules are in place to protect you, in any event. Failing to obey the rules of the road can not only lead to an accident, but it can make you responsible for the injuries and damage.
*Drive like any other vehicle. Do not ride against traffic or pass on the right – motorists are not looking for vehicles on the wrong side of the road or on the right. Drive with traffic and like every other motorist – it is more likely that cars will see you and be able to react to you.
*Wear the right gear. Wear comfortable clothing that is snug enough so that it will not catch on your gears or distract you as you ride. Make sure that you have a proper helmet as well as clothes that are comfortable for the weather. You don’t want to be so focused on being too warm that you find yourself in an accident. Never wear headphones or a Bluetooth. Both will distract you and slow your response times. Always wear brightly-colored clothing so that motorists can see you.
*Keep both hands prepared to brake. If you brake one-handed you may not stop in time, especially if you are trying to brake in the rain.
*Use hand signals. Hand signals let drivers know what you about to do.
*Stay in the middle of the lane whenever you are moving at the same speed as other traffic. Also stay in the middle of the lane at busy intersections.
*Keep your bicycle in good repair. You want your bicycle to respond appropriately when you are in traffic. Make sure that you check your tires and brakes often.
*Make sure that drivers see you. Make contact with motorists – it’s the best way to ensured that they see you.
*Use headlights and reflectors at night and in the evenings and early mornings. Reflective clothing is a good idea, too – you want drivers to see you.