May is National Bicycle Safety Awareness month. With the increase in fuel prices and the warm weather, many people have shifted to using bikes around Chicago. Because of this, there has been an increase in bike accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles. In most accidents, it is the bicyclist who is injured. According to NTSA data shared by Ken McLeod, the policy director of the American League of Bicyclists, six bicyclists die per year. In 2020 there were eight fatalities in Chicago. The number is alarming, and if cyclists do not take precautions, the same or more can happen. Before getting on the bike and heading out on the road, here are a few tips you should know;
Follow the Rules on the Road
Bicycles are considered vehicles on the road and should follow all the traffic rules. All bicyclists should follow all the signs and signals, just like other drivers.
Since bikes do not have indicators, use hand signs to show the driver you are changing a lane or turning and staying alert.
Wear Protective Gears
Do not leave the house without protective gear such as a helmet and reflectors. Ensure you fit the helmet properly. In case of an accident, your head is secured, and therefore little to no damage can happen.
Reflectors help you to stay visible, especially during the night, and vehicles can remain at a safe distance from you.
Check your bike correctly before leaving the house. Ensure that the gears and brakes are working perfectly. If not, get them checked and replaced before taking a ride.
Avoid Carrying Heavy Items in your Hand or your Bicycle
Heavy objects in your hand, like a mobile phone or a water bottle, can cause accidents since you cannot turn when necessary. Heavy items on the carrier basket on your bicycle can sway the bike in the opposite direction to which you want to ride, especially if you are at high speed.
Avoid Overspeeding and Roads with High Traffic
Before going out on a ride, identify your destination and choose a route with less traffic. You should also avoid speeding as the bicycle brakes are not as powerful as a vehicle’s brakes.
What to do if Caught Up in an Accident
If you are involved in an accident, remain calm and not panic. If you are not severely hurt, take pictures of the scene. You may feel unhurt for a while due to the panic and adrenaline, but you shouldn’t ignore going to the hospital. There is help available, and you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers today to schedule a FREE consultation. There is no FEE unless LARRY WINS your case.