There are a minimum of six important things you can do on your bike to lower the chances, no matter how small, of being in a crash. One of the most important things you can do is to prioritize visibility. Vehicle drivers cruising down the road will have many different things on their mind other than watching out for bikers. They’ll be listening to their radio, texting or calling somebody, eating their take-out food, or trying to figure out which road to take. All those things mean that cyclists need to be extra careful and do their best to stand out to drivers. Read on to learn more about some tips to maximize bicycling safety and avoid accidents.
How To Avoid Bicycling Accidents And Stay Safe
- Wear cycling equipment and gear to optimize visibility: You can optimize visibility on the road by wearing high visibility clothing. From helmets to jerseys to ankle and leg gear, the colors you wear biking should be extremely bright- ideally fluorescent, which is two or three times more visible than normal colors. However, just wearing extremely bright colors isn’t enough; you also need high visibility on your ankles and legs to increase the chance that the driver sees the motion of your turning pedals.
- Keep your lights on: Another component of staying visible is having the appropriate lights. At night, a bright white flashing light on the front of the bike and a red flashing light at the back is legally required.
- Choose a safe lane position: Another important part of avoiding collisions is selecting the safest lane position. If there’s a bike lane, then cyclists are legally mandated in Florida to use that lane. It is the responsibility of every cyclist to make the decision about their place on the road that’s the safest for the time and under current conditions. Due to the fact that Florida has many substandard roads (narrower than fourteen feet), cyclists are allowed to “take the lane” and ride in either a vehicle’s right or left tire position.
- Using hand signals when necessary: Signaling every move is essential. Not only is this practice mandatory when riding in a group, but also needs to be done when you’re riding alone or with a single partner. We recommend that bikers be very demonstrative when they ride, and point to the position they’re going to let the driver know where they’re headed. The key factor is to be clear, predictable, and timely when you signal.
- Never assume the driver can see you: Even if you feel like the driver should be able to see you, don’t make that assumption. We see examples all the time of riders who think a car is stopping for them, but the driver doesn’t follow through. Always make sure the driver sees you and knows to stop. If they don't slow down, then you should slow down to signal them. Always communicate clearly and as obviously as possible.
Contact Us Today
Even if you’re an extremely careful cyclist, accidents can still happen. If you were injured in a cycling accident, you need an expert personal injury attorney to defend your legal rights. Call Mantia Law Firm to schedule an appointment with an experienced bicycle accident attorney today!