How to Protect Yourself When Riding a Bike
With sunshine and longer days, it makes sense that more people are getting their bicycles out of the garage and going for a bike ride, alone or with their families. Even if you choose to stay on bike trails, chances are you will have to share a road with cars to get to the trailhead. And when cyclists are in accidents with vehicles, severe injuries may result.
The best course of action is to protect yourself and avoid accidents from ever occurring. If an accident does happen, damage compensation may be possible. Discuss your situation with a Bucks County personal injury lawyer.
Safety Equipment and Bike Inspections
A best practice is to always wear a bike helmet when cycling to guard against head injuries. There are bicycle helmet laws but they vary from state to state. For example, in New Jersey everyone under the age of 17 who is riding a bike is required to wear a bicycle helmet. In Pennsylvania, the age is lower, all bicyclists under the age of 12 are required to wear a fitted bike helmet. It is important helmets are the right size and fit correctly.
In addition to helmets, wearing reflective clothing, especially at night, can be helpful in keeping cyclists safe. Reflectors, lights, and a horn or bell are all useful safety items.
Making sure the safety elements are in place is something that can be done while doing a bike inspection. When a bike is stored in a basement or garage for months, it is good to look the bicycle over before taking it for a spin. A bike inspection should include making sure the brakes are working, the seat is at a comfortable level, and the seat and handlebars are secure.
Obeying Laws and Driving Defensively
Just as cars need to follow traffic laws, bicycles are required to obey traffic signals and signs. Because bicycles are smaller than cars, they are able to maneuver in and out of traffic quickly. Resist this urge to stay safe, obey traffic laws on every ride. Also, use arm signals to let others on the road know how you are going to move, then vehicles will know when you are planning to turn.
It is also helpful to remember times when you were not able to see a cyclist when driving a car or truck. Knowing that, cyclists can take precautions such as being sure drivers can see them, watching out for road risks, and avoiding erratic movement.
Taking steps to protect yourself when biking is important because crashes between bikes and cars can result in serious injuries. It is not uncommon for a bicyclist to be hospitalized after being hit by a vehicle. If you were injured on a bike and have collected medical debts as a result, a Bucks County personal injury lawyer can help.
Were you on a bicycle that was hit by a car in New Jersey or Pennsylvania? If so, you need an experienced lawyer working for you. The personal injury attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can help. Schedule your free consultation today, call 215-968-6602.