Bicycle commuting is growing in popularity with each passing year. Not only is it an efficient form of transportation, but it can also save you money.
The primary concern among commuting cyclists is safety. Since you don't have much protection, any accident can cause serious injury or death.
Here are a handful of safety tips you can follow every time you jump on your bike:
- Take the lane: When a bicycle lane is available, forget about riding on the sidewalk or amongst motor vehicles. This is the safest place to ride, as it's designed for cyclists and no one else.
- Watch for opening doors: Known as a dooring accident, this occurs when someone opens a car door into your lane of travel. If you don't see the door and/or don't have time to react, you could strike it head on.
- Watch for turning vehicles: Right turns are among the most dangerous, as the driver may not see you approaching the intersection. This can cause them to clip you as they move into the turn.
- Don't spook pedestrians: You focus so much attention on motor vehicles that it's easy to overlook the risk of riding in close proximity to pedestrians. Do your best to make yourself visible, as a startled pedestrian is one that's more likely to cause an accident.
- Use hand signals: Get into the habit of using hand signals to notify drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists of your intentions. This isn't a fullproof way to avoid an accident, but it definitely helps enhance your safety. Also, when possible, make eye contact with nearby drivers.
If you're injured in a bicycle-car accident, do the following:
- Call 911
- Administer first aid
- Ask the responding paramedics for transportation to a local hospital
- Work with your medical team to understand your injuries and prognosis
- Follow the treatment strategy as suggested by your doctor
- Contact your insurance company
When you do all these things, you're able to first focus on your health and well-being. From there, you can take steps to protect your legal rights in New Jersey and seek compensation for your injuries.
Visit our website and read our blog for more guidance on the steps to take after an accident that results in personal injury.