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5 Safety Tips for Bicycle Riding and How to Avoid Car Accidents

5 safety tips for bikes

Biking advocates often paint a wonderful image of the joy of cycling.

Riding on two wheels instead of four can be great for your life in a lot of ways: your health and fitness can improve, you’ll likely meet some fun fellow riders, you’re helping the environment and you can explore your community and check out scenery that you may not be able to appreciate very well while zipping down the highway in a car.

But what isn’t discussed as openly is how quick and easy it is for things to go bad.

Simply put, cars are bigger and faster, and interactions between cars and a bicycle rider also rarely end with the bike sustaining lesser damage.

Approximately 670 cyclists in British Columbia are injured in crashes between June and September each year, which works out to be about five cyclists a day during the summer months. In the Lower Mainland alone, approximately 450 injuries and three cycling deaths occur as a result with car collisions during these months.

Auto drivers can certainly do a better job of watching out for cyclists, especially as the numbers of each grow in the area. But cyclists who are trying to have a safe and satisfying experience free of accidents can utilize other methods to stay safe, including:

  1. Assuming the worst. Hoping that drivers see you is an optimistic but often dangerous approach. Thinking realistically, they may not see you at all, so it helps to behave and observe with this in mind.
  2. Plan a route. Rather than just riding randomly, be sure to line out your full route so you’ll know what turns to make and in what areas to be extra cautious. A service like Google Maps can provide different sets of directions for driving, walking or riding or alternatives for challenging intersections.
  3. Stay off the sidewalks. Newer riders are sometimes tempted to look for alternatives to busy roads and being right in the middle of traffic. But riding on the sidewalk can cause hazards for pedestrians and is also illegal in many cities due the potential for harm. Colliding with a pedestrian or an obstacle such as a garbage can or a tree can be very dangerous for cyclists.
  4. Keep cool. The more you ride, the more likely you’ll encounter drivers who are rude, even dangerous to you sharing the roadway with them. Some in the cycling world advocate “returning the favour” by shouting obscenities, even trying to damage their vehicle. Though it might feel good, especially in a scary, adrenalin-filled situation, confronting someone may elevate the potential for violence and make you more vulnerable. One alternative is to simply jot down their vehicle information and report them to authorities as being unsafe or dangerous.
  5. Stay visible. Use every tool you can to be noticed, from a vest to reflectors to not being in someone’s blind spot. If you position yourself next to a car where another auto would be, the more likely a car will recognize you.

Sometimes, however, the best precautions can never fully guarantee an accident-free riding experience. If you have been injured by a car while bicycling, you’ll want to make sure your rights are protected by experienced attorneys who are working for you. Speak to Becker Lavin $ Wessler today! Call at us 604-689-3883 or send us an email at info@BLWlawyers.com today to learn more info about your rights and options.

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