The winter season is ending and warmer weather lays ahead which means bikers across Wisconsin are preparing to get their bikes back on the road. As you dust off your seats and tune up your bikes, now is also a good time to sharpen up on some key bike safety tips to protect yourself on the road. Although wearing a helmet remains a necessity, there are several other equally important safety tips to keep in mind as you get back on the road. To keep the roads as safe as possible remember these important bike safety tips.
- Keep yourself visible. To avoid collisions with cars turning or pulling out from parking lots on the right, make sure to make yourself visible at all intersections. To maintain your visibility to drivers, do not bike on the sidewalks. Not only is biking on the sidewalk dangerous to pedestrians, it also makes you invisible on the road to turning cars. Finally, do not pass cars on the right unless necessary. If you see a car slowing down, especially at an intersection, remain behind them until they get back up to speed or complete their turn. The spot immediately to the right of a car is a dangerous blind spot so bikers should avoid passing cars from the right.
- Wear bright clothing. Although wearing bright clothing in the dark may seem obvious, it is important to make yourself as visible as possible to all pedestrians and cars, even during the day. Reflective bands and vests are in inexpensive way to make sure cars can see you while biking. When riding in the early morning or at night always use a headlight and wear reflective cloths. If you hear a car approaching, straighten your back to make your reflective gear more effective.
- Don’t hug the curb. Although this may feel counter-intuitive, it is important to put a little extra space between you and the curb when sharing the road with cars. By giving yourself some space next to the curb, you make yourself more visible to motorists. Additionally, if you see a large vehicle approaching you can safely move over temporarily to avoid getting pinned.
- Remember to Signal. Just as you must use your blinkers in a car, it is equally important to use hand signals when turning on a bike. When preparing to turn use your left hand to signal before you start slowing down, this gives cars and other bikers enough time to stop when allowing you to turn. Always remember to look before you turn, even if you signal.
- Use slower streets on weekends. In general, using back roads or slower streets is a safer option than busy roads; however, this proves even more important on weekends. Since drunk driving increases on weekends, avoid busy roads whenever possible on Fridays and Saturdays.
Following these tips in addition to wearing your helmet can greatly decrease your risk for accidents and injuries on a bike. However, if you or a loved one is involved with a biking accident contact Steve Caya, an experienced bicycle accident injury lawyer, to help guide you through the appropriate legal response.