Commuting to and from work on your bicycle is a good idea for many reasons. You get to spend time outdoors, you’re able to avoid traffic jams, you can save money, it’s beneficial to the environment and it’s good for your health and wellness.
Getting into an accident is the primary concern of most bicyclists. Even if you’re a safe rider, you could still suffer a serious injury if someone operating a motor vehicle makes a mistake.
Here are some of the many safety tips you can follow:
- Wear a helmet at all times. It doesn’t matter if you’re commuting one block or a mile or longer, a helmet is a necessity. Without this protection, your head and brain are at serious risk in the event of an accident.
- Ride in the bicycle lane. If one is available, ride in the bicycle lane. When you’re here, you should only have to concern yourself with other bicyclists.
- Avoid getting “doored.” You focus on the road ahead and the vehicles in close proximity to you. However, you should also be aware of the danger of opening doors, as this can leave bicyclists with life-threatening injuries.
- Be cautious at intersections. Many bicycle-car accidents happen at intersections, as drivers don’t always take the time to glance over their shoulders before turning. Right-turning vehicles pose the biggest safety threat, as they can clip riders as they proceed through the intersection.
- Make eye contact. You can’t make eye contact with every driver, but you should attempt to do so when possible. Combined with hand signals, you can efficiently communicate your intentions to the drivers around you.
These tips will help keep you safer when commuting on your bicycle, but don’t assume that they’ll protect you at all times.
If you get injured in a bicycle accident, move to a safer area like a nearby sidewalk or parking lot. Check yourself for injuries, call 911 and administer first aid until paramedics arrive.
Once you receive treatment, you’ll have a clearer understanding of your injuries and prognosis. You can then explore your legal rights under Florida law and determine whether you’re able to seek compensation from the negligent driver.
Visit our website for additional guidance on the steps to take after a bicycle-car accident.