Over 46 million people ride bicycles each year in America for sport, fitness, fun, and commute. Bicycling is not only an economical form of recreation and commute, but it also has a miniscule carbon impact and is beneficial for your health.
On the flipside, bicycling can also be dangerous, particularly for new cyclists who have yet to learn all the rules of the road. High traffic areas and roads that are not bike-friendly are especially hazardous.
Road Safety Tips for Cyclists
Before you hop on the saddle and hit the road, make sure you’ve acquainted yourself with relevant bike safety information. It could save your life. (We should know. Our firm represents injured cyclists and families of fatally injured cyclists. We’ve come across a host of horrific accidents that could have been prevented has simple safety precautions been used.)
Take a look at the following safety tips.
- Learn the bicycling rules of the road for your town. Each city and state can have distinct traffic laws for cyclists.
- Practice in safe areas without cars, prior to traveling in congestion. Make sure you know how to safely maneuver your bike, such as clipping in and out of your pedals and breaking only with the rear brakes.
- Take a bicycle safety course in your area. For the class in Des Moines, you might want to check out the Des Moines Bike Collective.
- Ride with traffic, not against it.
- Stay as far to the right of cars as practicable if no bike path is available. Do not ride on the sidewalks.
- Wear a helmet for every trip. Without exception.
- Take measures to stay visible: wear reflective clothing and use reflectors and lights at night. Remember, rear lights are mandatory in Iowa. Wear bright clothing during the day.
- Do not wear earbuds: You need to stay alert to the sounds of traffic, e.g., honking horns, a car speeding behind you.
- Pay attention to what cars around you are doing. Try to make eye contact with drivers when possible. An alert cyclist can avoid a collision in many circumstances.
- Do not ride in drivers’ blind spots.
- Leave room between yourself and parked cars to avoid being doored should someone suddenly open one directly in your path.
- Do not speed. Leave ample time to react.
- Make sure your bike is in good repair before hitting the road, e.g., quick check your tire pressure and brakes.
Walker, Billingsley and Bair take Iowans’ bike safety seriously, and that is reflected in our attitude when we fight for bikers’ rights in either a claim or in court. People who ride bikes unaccountably are taking steps to improve their health and the environment and shouldn’t be punished for this by negligent drivers. Contact our firm today at (888) 435-9886 or fill out our quick and easy contact form online.