In our law office, especially at this time of year, we see many bicycle accidents. Children are biking to and from school again, and as the weather starts to get cooler, more individuals are biking recreationally.
I’d like to offer some suggestions on how to be safer and avoid injuries from a bike accident.
1) Wear a Helmet
The children might think it is lame, or you might think it messes up your hair, but this is an essential safety device to protect your head from injury.
2) Go the Same Direction as Traffic
Car drivers have a duty to look both ways and yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicycles before they enter onto a roadway. However, drivers don’t always do this. Often as drivers are waiting to make a right turn, they look only to the left, see a break in traffic, and go. Bicyclists coming from the right get hit and injured! So, if you are able to, ride in the same direction as traffic. If you can’t, be extra cautious of drivers exiting parking lots or side streets onto the main roadway.
3) Watch Out for Blind Corners on Bike Paths
In the suburbs of Phoenix, we have lots of master planned communities with fabulous bike and pedestrian paths. Sometimes, however, these paths cross a roadway. As you approach a roadway, stop and check for oncoming cars that may not be able to see you because of a house or wall that creates a blind corner.
4) Watch Out for Hazards in the Roadway
If you can, check out a bike route ahead of time for hidden hazards. If not, keep your eyes carefully on the road as you are riding. These hazards come in many forms. There might be missing pieces of sidewalk or roadway due to construction. There might be manholes, that aren’t flush with the surface. There might be a simple tree branch blocking the path. Even small changes in elevation can cause a bike with skinny tires to flip and leave its rider injured.
5) Use a Bike Light at Night
Bikers are smaller than cars. If you bike at night, be sure to use a light. Try wearing bright colors at night and during the day to be more visible.
6) Ride in a Group
Two bikers are more visible than one, and three bikers are more visible than two, etc.
If you are injured in a bike accident, contact the team at Tobler Law. We will be able to evaluate who or what is potentially at fault from a legal perspective. And we’ll help you get the compensation you need to fully recover – physically, financially and emotionally.
-Attorney Maren Hanson