Summer Bicycle Safety Tips

By Thompson Law

Residents of Nashville spent most of the spring months stuck in their homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the weather continues to warm up, fewer people want to be stuck indoors any longer.

Bicycle sales across the U.S. have recently skyrocketed, according to Bloomberg. The reasons for this may include:

  • Children out of school until Septembers and all school-related activities canceled

  • People looking to get out and move while gyms are closed

  • Cautious people want to avoid crowded bus stations and metro trains to continue practicing social distancing guidelines

How risky is cycling?

Cycling is fairly safe when everyone complies with the traffic laws. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Drivers get distracted by cellphones or other activities that take their attention away from the road.

In addition, more drivers are exceeding the speed limit as a result of fewer cars being on the road.

Intersections and roads without bicycle lanes also pose a danger to bicyclists.

Like pedestrians, bicyclists are vulnerable road users. They are not protected by metal frames, like drivers are. Nor do they have the luxury of seatbelts and airbags. Cautious bicyclists usually have nothing more than helmets and defensive riding to protect themselves from negligent drivers.

How can bicyclists avoid injuries this summer?

Despite the dangers bicyclists face each day in Nashville, there are ways to mitigate the risk of a crash or a serious injury in the event of a crash. AAA offers these tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Look left, look right, look center, and double check, especially at intersections.

  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet: A bicycle helmet can reduce your risk of sustaining a serious injury by about 85 percent.

  • Ride with the flow of vehicular traffic: Never ride against the direction of traffic. Always ride on the right side of the road and in a single file with other bicyclists.

  • Avoid heavy traffic: Try to avoid areas where there is a lot of vehicle congestion, unless a bicycle lane is available.

  • Use hand signals: Hand signals work the same way as turn signals in a car. They tell other road users which direction you plan on traveling. The NHTSA offers full information on how to use hand signals while riding.

  • Be seen: Drivers don’t always see bicyclists. Wearing bright clothing, however, can increase your chances of being seen.

  • Watch out for roadway hazards: Potholes, sand, debris, large cracks, puddles, and uneven surfaces can be dangerous for bicyclists. Be sure to keep an eye out for these hazards and avoid them.

What are my legal options if I’m injured in a bicycle crash?

If you were injured in a bicycle crash because of the negligent actions of a motorist, you have the legal right to obtain compensation for accrued medical bills, wage loss, pain, suffering, and other damages.

An experienced Nashville bicycle accident attorney at Thompson Law can help you take legal action and get the compensation you need. To find out how, contact us online and schedule your free legal consultation.

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