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Staying safe while riding a bicycle

People in California love riding their bikes. The feeling of freedom and speed they give you is matchless, whether you are an adult or a child. Bikes are a great practical method of getting from here to there.

But responsibilities also come with riding a bike. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that no matter what state you live in, bicyclists are obligated to “follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.” One principle should govern your actions — the realization that you share the road with motor vehicle operators who may not always respect the rights of bicyclists or be sufficiently cautious.

They may be traveling at an excessive speed, impaired by alcohol, drugs or lack of sleep, distracted by fiddling with the radio dial or texting, inexperienced, hampered by poor lighting conditions or bad weather. All these factors impact bike riders. That’s why you have to do your part to ensure your own safety to the greatest degree possible.

Riding a bike is much more dangerous than you might think. According to the NHTSA, there were 846 bicycle riders who died in traffic accidents in 2019.

Ways to protect yourself while riding a bicycle

  • It may seem kind of obvious to point this out, but always wear a helmet that fits properly and is positioned correctly on your head.
  • The bike should not be too large for you. If it is, it’s tougher to maneuver it.
  • Make sure that your brakes are functioning.
  • Wear reflective gear at night. Have reflectors on your bike, plus front and rear lights on it.
  • Drive defensively so you are as prepared for what drivers on the road with you might do.

Biking is wonderful for pleasure, transportation or sightseeing. Nevertheless, the hazards facing bike riders are real, particularly on urban roads. If you are involved in a crash with a motor vehicle resulting in injuries to you and damage to your bike, you can explore your legal options. An experienced personal injury attorney can help.