As more people turn to bicycles to commute to work, they need to familiarize themselves with the rules of the road. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 835 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. This is the highest number of cyclist deaths in 15 years. Cyclists can work toward avoiding an accident with other motorists by learning how to bike safely around cars.
Read on for tips on how to be a safe cyclist on the roads:
Communicate with Other Drivers
When biking, you do not have the same technologies that you would if you were in a motor vehicle. To communicate with other drivers, use body language and hand signals, including ones for turning, changing lanes, or coming to a stop. Make eye contact with drivers when turning to ensure that they are aware of your next move.
Be Visible During the Day and at Night
When biking during the day, wear bright clothing. Colorful apparel will help make you stand out to other motorists. At night, use headlights and rear lights when biking on the street. You should also wear reflective clothing so other drivers can see you when you’re biking in front of them.
Wear Your Helmet
In Pennsylvania, children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear helmets on a bicycle. Anyone over the age of 12 is not required to wear a helmet, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation highly recommends that anyone on a bicycle wears a helmet. By wearing a helmet, you decrease the chance of getting a head injury in a cycling accident by 50%.
Abide by Common Driving Rules
According to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, bicycles are considered a vehicle. This means that cyclists maintain the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. Some of the common laws include biking on the right-hand side of the road, yielding to crossing traffic, and following street signs, signals, and road markings to ensure the safety of both yourself and those around you.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car-bicycle accident, the team at Dugan & Associates is here for you, and we’re ready to look at your case. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers will make sure you receive the maximum monetary compensation available to you. Contact us for your free consultation.