Protecting Against Bicycle Accidents
In many places in the United States, especially in large and densely populated cities, cycling is a preferred method of transportation. Cyclists save money on gas, parking costs, get good exercise on a regular basis, and often feel good about helping the environment.
However, individuals on bicycles are always at risk for a dangerous collision with a larger motor vehicle. Not surprisingly, when a motor vehicle and a bicycle collide, it is often the cyclist that suffers the greatest injuries, as he or she has little to no protection. Because of this, it is important that cyclists do everything possible to make their riding safe.
The following tips will hopefully protect you from being involved in a dangerous bicycle-automobile collision:
- Use reflectors AND headlights: while reflectors can help make your bike visible to cars, especially at night, they are nowhere near as effective as a bicycle light. These lights can be affixed nearly anywhere on your bicycle, and greatly increase your visibility on the road.
- Make use of a loud bell or horn: you need to make sure that the bell or horn you purchase can be heard by people inside of cars. These noise makers can be an invaluable tool in alerting an inattentive driver to your presence.
- Act defensively at all times: since you are in a more vulnerable position as a biker, never assume that a car’s driver can see you or is aware of your presence. If you are unsure about your visibility at all, you should act defensively and go to a place where you are safe until the car in question has passed.