Top Tips for Riding Your Bicycle Safely in Traffic

Biking may be a simple, everyday activity, but it brings avid bicyclists great joy. Bicycling to and from work means you can melt away the workday stress by pedaling past bumper-to-bumper traffic instead of sitting, aggravated, in it. It means that you though you still have to sit on your butt, you can get a workout while doing so. It also means that you are contributing to the greater good of the planet, as opposed to all those commuters whose car emissions serve only to exacerbate pollution issues rather than help them.

However, for all the benefits that biking offers, you cannot deny that it also comes with ample risk. This is particularly true if you live and work in a populated area. If this is the case, it is important that you brush up on your bicycle safety tips before you decide to make your two wheels your main mode of transportation.

Know the Rules of the Road

To ensure the safety of their residents, states have developed their own laws for everyone who uses the roads. This includes drivers, pedestrians and yes, cyclists. Just as you expect drivers to obey the laws and respect your safety, you need to do the same. While you should obtain a New Mexico biker’s manual to learn the ins and outs of state biking laws, some standard regulations to abide by are as follows:

  • Obey all traffic signals and signs.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Use marked bike lanes and paths when they are available.
  • Know whether or not you can legally bike on thoroughfares, highways, freeways, thruways and interstate routes.
  • Signal with your arms when you plan to switch lanes or make a turn.

Practice Road Awareness

Just like when you drive a vehicle, it is not enough to merely obey the law. Accidents are often the result of inattention, complacency, distractions or all three. While you cannot control the actions of others, you can mitigate your risk of getting into an accident by remaining vigilant and doing the following:

  • Make contact with drivers and other cyclists.
  • Stay alert to changes in your environment at all times.
  • Constantly scan the environment for potential hazards, such as potholes, loose gravel, puddles, grease stains, open doors, vehicles changing lanes, sharp bends in the road, etc.
  • Be extra cautious at intersections.
  • Steer clear of driver’s blind spots.
  • Ride with confidence, and do not wobble or weave.

Use Your Common Sense

Last but not least, use your common sense when riding at any time of day or night, traffic or no traffic. Wear your helmet and other appropriate safety gear. Make yourself highly visible with reflective riding gear and bike reflectors. Do not drink and bike, consider investing in a rearview mirror for your bike and do not ride in bad weather. Ideally, you should not ride at night, but if you must, refer to the “reflective gear” suggestion. Finally, eliminate distractions. Put your phone in your backpack, keep at least one ear free (though both is ideal) and focus 100% of your attention to the task at hand: Getting from Point A to Point B safely.

What To Do If You Were Involved in a Bicycle Accident

If you were involved in a bicycle accident, it can help your case considerably if you did everything right, from following the rules of the road to wearing proper safety gear. That said, it is not enough to tell decision makers that you rode safely, as it is your word against the other party’s. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence and present it in a way that the other party will be unable to dispute. He or she can also negotiate with the other party and ensure you do not settle for anything less than what you deserve. For the experienced representation you need during this difficult time in your life, contact Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. today.

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Thompson & Sanchez, P.C.

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