As a cyclist, you undoubtedly know about safety gear. From pads to helmets, headlights to horns, you know how to outfit yourself and your bike in the safest ways available. That is a great first step, but do you know how to avoid some of the most common accidents?
Riding to avoid accidents is about more than strapping a helmet on your head or a few pads on your knees and elbows. Avoiding accidents takes awareness and a bit of knowledge. Here is how you can avoid being hit in the rear end by a motor vehicle.
How It Happens
This type of accident occurs when your bicycle is hit from behind. It most typically occurs for one of two reasons:
- You swerve left to move around an obstruction; or
- The vehicle behind you is not able to see you for one reason or another.
Avoid the Collision
The good news is that there are several was to avoid this type of collision. Follow this advice to keep yourself and your bicycle upright.
- Look behind you before you decide to move to the left. If you are riding on a busy street, moving to the left even a few inches could cause an accident. Do not veer from a straight path without looking to your rear.
- Stay out of the parking lane. You will be more likely to have to swerve into the line of traffic to avoid parked cars and other hazards.
- Install a mirror on the handlebar of your bike. The mirror should provide a clear, unobstructed view of the area behind you.
- Get a rear light and mount it on your bike. A light makes you more visible, even during the day.
- Wearing light-colored clothing is not always enough. Invest in a reflective vest or jacket to wear while you ride.
- Plan your route well. In most cities, it is possible to get where you need to go by cruising through neighborhoods. Plan a route that keeps you off of the busiest streets.
- Get off of the curb. It can be instinctive to ride as close to the curb as possible. Unfortunately, this gives you very little room to maneuver should the need arise. Keep at least a foot of space between you and the curb.
Accidents are not always avoidable, but there are steps you can take to ensure that you are as safe as possible. Keep the above in mind the next time you strap on your helmet.
If you have been injured in a cycling accident, the experienced attorneys at Auger & Auger are here to help. Give us a call today for a free consultation. We will fight for your rights!