Bicycle safety should be on everyone’s minds, regardless of whether they themselves are cyclists or not. Knowing how to avoid a bicycle accident is important because it is perfectly legal for bikes to share the road with motor vehicles, with some rare exceptions.
While biking can certainly be fun, convenient and sustainable, cyclists do stand to sustain catastrophic personal injuries in the event of an accident. Becoming familiar with common situations where a bicycle collision is more likely will help keep everyone a little safer.
1. The driver allows distractions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 3,142 deaths as a result of distracted driving in 2021. Thie widespread problem is particularly threatening to bicyclists who can easily slip into vehicle blind spots unnoticed by inattentive drivers.
2. The cyclist is speeding
Motorists who disregard speed limits can obviously create dangerous situations, but cyclists can also bring harm to themselves by going too fast. Sidewalks and intersection crossings can be particularly hazardous locations where one should maintain a cautious level of speed.
3. Someone fails to signal
Motorists and cyclists alike have a responsibility to signal when turning or switching lanes. Sudden lane changes can be particularly dangerous in the presence of bicycles, as many drivers may have difficulty predicting a bike’s actions.
While cyclists can act to protect themselves by wearing proper gear and bright colors, motor vehicle drivers can do their part by remaining attentive and raising awareness of cyclists on the road. If an accident does occur, the priority of all involved individuals is to seek immediate medical attention.