A growing number of people in and around the Baltimore area are changing the way they commute. Rather than navigate the road behind the wheel of a motor vehicle or take public transportation, they're hopping on their bicycle.
There are many benefits of commuting on a bicycle, including time and cost savings. However, there's also a major concern: your safety.
Here are four tips you can follow to reduce the risk of a bicycle-car accident:
- Travel in a bicycle lane, when possible: You won't always have access to a bicycle lane, but when you do it's the best place to spend your time. Since motor vehicles are not permitted to drive in these lanes, the risk of an accident is much smaller. When not available, drive in traffic as opposed to on the sidewalk.
- Avoid the door zone: Opening car doors are every bit as dangerous as moving vehicles. If a passenger or driver opens a door before looking in their mirror, they could do so as you approach the vehicle. If you're unable to swerve out of the way, a head-on accident is likely.
- Watch for turning vehicles: Drivers don't always pay attention when making turns. When you combine this with difficulty spotting bicyclists, the risk of an accident at an intersection is much greater. Take special caution as you approach intersections.
- Use hand signals: Become familiar with the many hand signals you can use to notify drivers of your intentions. A simple signal telling others that you're making a turn can go a long way in preventing an accident.
Along with the above, you should always prepare for the worst. This means wearing safety gear at all times, such as a helmet, gloves and an appropriate pair of shoes.
If you're injured in a bicycle-car accident, your safety and health should take top priority. The best thing you can do is move from traffic, if possible, and call 911.
Your medical team can diagnose your injuries, implement a treatment plan and help you better understand your prognosis. From there, contact your insurance company and consider other steps you can take to obtain compensation from the negligent driver.
Visit our website and blog for more information on bicycle accidents and your legal rights.