Tips for Bicycle Safety in Modesto
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. Riding a bicycle is a great way to have fun and stay active. While bicycles serve as an environmentally-friendly way of getting around the city of Modesto, riders have a higher risk of injury or death than people riding in a car due to the lack of physical protection around their bodies. To limit the risk of severe injury in a bicycle accident, it is essential for all bicyclists to exercise safety precautions while riding.
Bicycle Safety Tips
Understanding bicycle safety is vital in ensuring your protection on the road. Following are some safety tips riders should take in limiting their chances of being involved in a bicycle accident or reducing the severity of sustained injuries:
- Helmet Use: Always wear a helmet as no other safety device has been shown to decrease the likelihood of sustaining a serious head injury such as a traumatic brain injury. Be sure to find a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines and properly fits your head. Wearing a helmet that does not fit perfectly can be just as ineffective as not wearing one at all;
- Clothing and Safety Equipment: Bicyclists are advised to wear bright-colored or reflective clothing to indicate their presence on the road. Glasses can be useful in preventing a rider’s vision from becoming impaired from the exposure of sun rays or bright vehicle headlights during the night;
- Bicycle Lanes: These should be used whenever available. When using a bicycle lane, be sure to look out for parked vehicles as sometimes their occupants may open a door in front of an oncoming rider;
- Obey Traffic Laws: Bicyclists should be following the same traffic laws applicable to drivers. This includes yielding to traffic when appropriate, stopping at stop signs and red lights and using hand signals to indicate stops and turns. When a cyclist uses hand signals, this helps communicate their intentions to other motorists and allowing those motorists to react accordingly;
- Blind Spots: Bicyclists should avoid tailgating in traffic or traveling within a vehicle’s blind spot as it limits their visibility to other motorists and increases their odds of a collision;
- Defensive Riding: Bicyclists should assume that drivers and others on the road may not be able to see them and take evasive action to prevent an accident. This means cyclists should leave adequate space between them and other vehicles and should clear an intersection prior to making turns in front of other cars.
Driver Negligence in a Bicycle Accident
The rules of the road are both the same for drivers and riders. Some of the ways a driver may be considered negligent in a bicycle accident include:
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to a turning bicyclist;
- Drunk or drugged driving;
- Talking or texting on a cell phone;
- Running a stop sign or red light;
- Violating the Three Feet for Safety Act.
When bicycling on the roads, bicycle safety requires diligence from both drivers and riders. When a cyclist fails to do so, they may be considered negligent in an accident for reasons such as:
- Talking or texting on a cell phone or listening to music while riding. This can distract a bicyclist from hearing and observing the surrounding traffic;
- Failing to signal before conducting a turn;
- Riding along the wrong side of the street;
- Running a stop sign or red light;
- Going the wrong way along a one-way street;
- Bicycling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Not using reflectors on a bicycle when riding at night.
Bicycle Accident Claims
For a bicyclist to claim compensation for damages incurred, a rider must be able to prove that the accident was a result of driver negligence. This can be done by compiling evidence such as traffic collision reports, witness testimonies, photographs taken at the scene of the accident, damage to cycling equipment and more. Preserving evidence is crucial after a bicycle accident as they may be lost or destroyed over time.
How a Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
It is not always possible to avoid every bicycle accident even if you exercise all of the necessary safety precautions. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident as a bicyclist, contacting an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Modesto is crucial for immediate assistance. A skilled attorney can investigate further into the facts and evidence of the accident, communicate effectively with insurance carriers and reach a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Modesto Personal Injury & Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury lawyer. Injuries from a bicycle accident can be devastating and life-changing for a rider and their family. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver or entity, I am here to provide you with free, friendly legal advice. Please give me a call any time at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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