Car vs. bicycle accidents, even at low speeds, are a serious threat to all cyclists who ride. And, for most cyclists, bicyclists face these risks every time they ride. Whether it’s a morning commute, a ride for exercise or just a stretch of road on the way to the trails, they have to ride in vehicular traffic.
Knowing the serious risk for traumatic brain injuries (TBI), broken bones, spinal cord injuries and many other consequences of collisions, what can cyclists do to stay safer? Here are a handful of tips that can help:
- Always wear a helmet. It doesn’t make it less likely that you’ll get hit — unless it makes you more visible — but it does drastically reduce the odds of a severe head injury in a crash.
- Stay alert while you ride. Pay attention, don’t listen to music and always scan the road around you for dangerous drivers.
- Don’t watch the ground. Keep your eyes on the road. You want to have a general idea of the pavement ahead of you, but it’s more important to watch the cars.
- Take active steps to be seen. These may include using reflectors and lights and wearing bright clothing.
- Always ride with traffic, never against it. Remember that you have as much right to the road as motorists do, and that’s the rules of the road.
- Try to avoid high-risk times. Riding at night or during high-volume hours like rush hour increase your risk of a collision.
If you still get hit, you could wind up with massive medical bills, lost wages and many other post-injury issues to address. Be sure you know if you have a right to financial compensation.