5 Tips to Stay Safe While Biking This Summer
Summertime is a great time to go riding, especially in such a gorgeous state as Florida. Unfortunately, too many of these types of outings lead to accidents, and those accidents often lead to severe injuries – or worse. This can result in complex legal action being taken by victims in an attempt to recover monetary losses stemming from their medical treatment, as well as money they’ve lost due to not being able to work.
No one should have to bear that burden alone. If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please get in touch with the Jones Law Group as soon as you can. Contact us online or give us a call at (727) 571-1333 to schedule a free consultation.
Hopefully, you haven’t been in any sort of bicycle accident. Here are five safety tips designed to help you avoid being in one.
1. Keep Alert and Follow All Road Rules
No rider expects their bicycle outing to go badly, but, unfortunately, that happens in far too many instances. More than 900 bicyclists lost their lives in collisions with vehicles in 2020, up nearly 10 percent from the previous year.
One of the best ways to avoid this type of tragedy is to always stay aware of your surroundings. Florida law has many safeguards in place to help prevent accidents. For example, riders must stay in bicycle-only lanes, and they aren’t allowed to weave in and out of stopped traffic.
There are a lot of reasons why bicycle accidents occur. Many riders, for instance, are severely hurt or killed because they ride against the flow of traffic. Remember that you have to obey the rules of the road just like someone driving a passenger car. This means you have to stop at red lights and stop signs, and obey all other signs.
You also need to make the proper signals when you’re about to turn or stop. If you don’t already know those signals, you’ll need to learn them before you take your bicycle on a public road.
But there are other dangers on the road besides moving cars and trucks. “Dooring,” or slamming into a parked car door as it’s being opened, can lead to catastrophic injuries. Weather conditions can lead to an accident, as can unexpected road debris. Bicyclists can ride on sidewalks in violation of traffic rules, and hit pedestrians as a result.
You can still have a great time riding your bike. Just try to be cognizant of everything around you.
2. Wear a Helmet
This is one of the best ways of avoiding a serious injury if you do happen to be involved in an accident. But not just any type of helmet will do – you need one specifically designed for bike riders. If you’re knocked off of your bicycle and you hit your head, that helmet may be the only thing that saves you from suffering a potentially debilitating traumatic brain injury.
3. Use Reflective Gear if Riding at Night
You’ve probably seen people wearing reflective clothing, or reflective vests, when they walk or ride their bike near or shortly after sunset. There’s a chance you may have said to yourself that you’d never be seen wearing something that gaudy. That could be one of the biggest mistakes you could ever make. Pedestrians and bicyclists probably don’t like wearing that stuff any more than you would – but doing so is greatly reducing their risk of being involved in a potentially deadly accident.
Accidents frequently happen because motorists simply can’t see bicycle riders in times of limited visibility. The easier you make it for them to see you, the safer you’ll be. Even if you think you look a little gaudy.
4. Attach Lights and Bells
If you’re going to ride your bike in Florida between sunset and sunrise, you’re going to have to make sure it has lights. According to Florida law, bicycles ridden at this time of day need to have a white light on the front (visible from at least 500 feet away) and a red reflector on the back (visible from at least 500 feet away).
Consider adding a bell – or some other type of equipment that produces a loud sound – for an added level of protection. That might be the only way a driver, a motorist or a pedestrian will be able to hear you.
5. Bring a First Aid Kit, Water, and Your Phone
Since you never know what’s going to happen when you’re on your bicycle, it will be a good idea to be as prepared as possible. If you can, try to put together a first aid kit that you can fit somewhere comfortably. You can attach it to the area below the handlebars, or possibly put it in a small backpack that you can wear while you’re riding.
Don’t worry about trying to take everything out of your medicine cabinet. Just pack as many essentials as you can carry. These include bandages, gauze, alcohol wipes and maybe a small pair of scissors or tweezers. If you’re going to be out for a long time on a hot day, keep at least a couple of bottles of water handy.
Above all, though, never go anywhere on your bike without bringing your phone just in case you have to call for medical help.
What to do If You or Your Child are Injured in a Bicycle Accident this Summer
The first thing you should do is to immediately get whatever medical attention that may be needed. If you can, use the supplies in the first aid kit to treat any scrapes or wounds that might have occurred. Talk to any witnesses who may have seen the accident, and take pictures of the scene.
Once you’re back in a safe place, contact an attorney as soon as you can. Your attorney will get to work investigating the accident, and determining the necessary steps to help you get the money you deserve. If you would like to schedule a free case review with the Jones Law Group, please contact us online or call (727) 571-1333.