Friday, October 24th 2014 9:29 am

Seven Tips for Avoiding Bicycle Accidents

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Posted in Arts & Humanities | Posted on 09-11-2013

Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries and may leave victims hospitalized for an extended period of time. Adam Kutner specializes in representing clients in legal proceedings for personal injury claims and has a great deal of experience with bicycle accident litigation. Wearing a helmet can help bike riders avoid serious head injuries in the event of a crash; however, these safety devices can do nothing to prevent an accident in the first place. Here are seven simple strategies to ensure that bicyclists stay safer while on the road.

Use a Headlight

A headlight is a simple device that can increase visibility not only at night but also at dawn and dusk, making it easier for other vehicles to spot the bicycle and rider on the road. Most states and municipalities require headlights on bikes ridden at night. More importantly, a working headlight can allow riders to see and to be seen on darkened roadways and in rural areas.

Never Pass on the Right

It may be tempting to pass up lines of traffic on the right hand side of the road. However, this practice often leads to drivers making right hand turns directly into the bicycle and its rider. Maintain a position within the lane of traffic to ensure maximum visibility on the road.

Don’t Cross From the Sidewalk

In some cases, it may make sense to ride on the sidewalk to avoid holding up traffic. Crossing a street from the sidewalk, however, can lead to collisions with vehicles executing a right hand turn across the crosswalk. Bikes move much faster than pedestrians and can approach these intersections much more rapidly than other drivers may expect. This can lead to serious injuries for bike riders if the vehicle cannot stop in time.

Ride With the Flow of Traffic

Many bicyclists were taught to ride against the flow of traffic to maximize visibility. This practice is no longer recommended. Instead, bike riders should move with the flow of traffic whenever possible to ensure optimal visibility and to reduce the risk of accidents.

Use Hand Signals for Turns and Stops

Using the universal hand signals for stops and turns can ensure that other drivers are aware of the bike rider’s intentions well in advance of their execution. By providing fair warning to other drivers, bicyclists can allow time for braking or passing and can ensure a greater degree of safety for everyone on the road.

Be Courteous

Many accidents occur due to rude or thoughtless behavior on the part of drivers or bicyclists. By remaining considerate on the road and refraining from dangerous practices, bike riders can avoid some of these accidents and stay safer in a wide range of traffic conditions.

Stay Alert

Over-the-road truckers are trained to scan the road at the farthest distance that they can see clearly to avoid accidents and to spot hazards before they become imminent threats. By taking a cue from these professional drivers, bike riders can avoid many dangerous situations and stay safer throughout their journeys.

If an accident does occur, engaging the services of a professional attorney like Adam Kutner can often help bicycle riders obtain fair compensation for their injuries and damages. By seeking the help of a personal injury lawyer, bike riders can ensure the maximum settlement amount for their particular legal case.