With rising gas prices and increased environmental consciousness, many more California residents are choosing to bicycle rather than drive to work, visit friend or run other run errands. Acting in a safe manner is very important for cyclists, as they are on the road with vehicles that are larger and faster than themselves. While the power is certainly not only in the cyclists’ hands, there are some things bicycle riders can do to stay safer:
- Wear a helmet and other protective gear: Wearing a helmet is a well-known way to protect one’s head in the case of a collision. In addition to this, bicyclists can benefit from wearing bright clothing or reflective gear, as well as picking sturdy shoes. Those bicycling in higher risk situations can also benefit from gloves and knee and/or elbow pads.
- Follow the rules of the road: Bicyclists are expected to travel in the same direction as traffic. They also must follow street signs and traffic lights. Following the rules can not only help prevent an accident but can also help bicyclists avoid traffic fines.
- Communicate non-verbally with drivers: Making eye contact, using hand signals and behaving in a predictable manner can help make a bike ride much safer. Pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists alike should stay aware of what others are doing and expecting on the roads.
While it is of course preferable to avoid accidents altogether, unfortunately, even the safest bicyclist can become the victim of an accident. Common causes of serious accidents include collisions, falls or “dooring” when a motorist opens his or her door and forces the cyclist into traffic. Individuals who are in such accidents may be able to seek compensation for their injuries by working with an experienced California personal injury lawyer.