Cycle Safely and Share the Road for National Bike Safety Month

Author: Lori B. Painter

Taking up cycling could be one of the best decisions you ever make, I personally love being a cyclist.

The boosted benefits for your physical and mental health, bank account and environment are just some of the rewarding reasons why you should take a spin at riding a bicycle.

In honor of May’s National Bike Safety Month, continue reading to familiarize yourself with some safety measures to take before and during a bike ride.

Bicycle Maintenance

As with any type of biking, whether road biking, city biking trail biking or mountain biking, the first important factor is to have a bike in good working order. Your bicycle should be the right size for your body type and up to date regarding maintenance. The rider should also have the correct safety equipment, including but not limited to proper clothes, helmet, bicycle lights and reflectors. Select a helmet that fits your head and is snug, also wear bright-colored clothes to increase visibility. For extra comfort I would advise bike gloves; they help soak up sweat, keep your hands dry and allow you to maintain a safe grip on your handlebars with extra padding for your palms.

Rules of the Road

As with any street biking there are general rules to keep in mind. Always ride with the traffic, on the right side of the road and obey traffic signals and signs. Be aware of cars, buses, trains, and people. One should also be aware of car doors and mirrors.

Stay Aware of Surroundings

When riding a bicycle one must remember the environment they are in. If you are city riding the main hazards are cars, buses, other bikes, and people. It is important to stay very alert and aware of your surroundings. To make sure you are seen, make eye contact with drivers and/or pedestrians. Remember, that just because you are on a bike does not mean that you own the road. As a cyclist, you still must obey all traffic laws and lights.

I love to trail ride in Pennsylvania. On a trail, one must watch out for uneven terrains. It is also important to be aware of other riders, walkers, runners, and even horseback riders. Once again, it is wise to stay on the right side of the trail. When passing another individual on the trail, you should signal with a bell and verbally announce ‘passing on the left, thank you.’ If you need to take a break, don’t stop in the middle of the trail. Be courtesy to others, move to either side of the path to allow them room to safely pass.

Oh No, What Happens if there is a Crash?

If you are involved in any type of bicycle accident, handle it similarly to what you should do in an automobile or motorcycle crash.

  • First, try to stay calm.
  • Remain in a safe location away from traffic, do not get up right away, allow yourself to pause and see how your body feels. If you have been involved in an accident, you must stop your bicycle even if you are not hurt. It is against the law to leave the site of a bicycle accident.
  • Assess the situation to see if you or someone else involved in the accident may need medical attention. If medical help is needed call 9-1-1.
  • If there are serious physical injuries and/or property damage, police should be called to the scene.
  • Exchange information with all individuals involved; write down the full name, address, and phone number for each person.

If you were in a bicycle accident involving someone else and you feel it was their fault, consider consulting with Metzger Wickersham to know your rights. We are here to help answer questions and provide legal advice regarding your rights during a no-cost case evaluation. Call us at (888) 286-2850 or email us to schedule your free consultation today.

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