Cycling is a great way to get outside for some exercise, commute to work, or explore. If you are a bicycling enthusiast or a newbie looking to get into cycling, it’s essential to know some of the risks of sharing the road and some best practices to ensure your safety. Numerous bicycle accidents occur every year; however, with the proper precautions in place and some pre-planning, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting into an accident. Below we’ll discuss ways to reduce your risk while cycling and how James H. Brown and Associates can help if you get into a bicycle accident. Continue reading to find out more!
Be Proactive, Be Safe!
The best way to avoid getting into an accident is to be proactive. Regardless if you’re operating an automobile, bicycle, or are a pedestrian being aware of your surroundings, being visible, and being cautious are the most effective ways to avoid getting into an accident. If you’re riding on a bicycle, there are several other factors you should take into consideration to help reduce your chances of getting into an accident. Some of these factors include the following:
Be Mindful of Your Surroundings
While riding with headphones or earbuds is a great way to enjoy your bicycle ride and rock out to your favourite tunes, it prevents you from thoroughly assessing the risks around you. When cycling, you need all your senses to be alert to react appropriately and avoid a bicycle accident. This is critical as other drivers and pedestrians may or may not be paying attention to you or may not be aware of you in their blind spots. By avoiding any factors distracting you from your surroundings, you are better equipped to make maneuvers to help prevent a bicycle accident.
Follow Road Safety Rules and Regulations
When cycling on the road, you are subject to the same regulations and rules as any other motor vehicle. That means for your safety and the safety of others, it’s crucial that you abide by right-of-way rules, respect road signage, and pay attention to pedestrians. It’s also critical that you are aware that you are less visible on a bicycle than other vehicles, which means you should exercise extra caution and ride defensively to ensure your safety. If possible, it’s always best to utilize bike lanes where applicable.
Regardless of when you decide to ride your bicycle, it’s vital that other cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians can easily spot you. Items such as a hi-vis vest, chest or headlights, reflective markers, and more can help ensure you’re always visible no matter the time of day. By prioritizing visibility while cycling, you can reduce your risk of a bicycle accident as other folks on the road can see you better and give you the space you need.
Adjust to Environmental Conditions
It’s no secret that we face some challenging environmental and climate conditions in Alberta. If you decide to ride your bicycle all year round, you’ll need to be prepared to combat weather conditions like snow, sleet, rain, wind, and more. Be sure to dress for the weather and give yourself extra commute time to avoid slips or spills. In addition, exercise extra caution in challenging weather conditions, as other drivers will also have reduced visibility on the road. Always check the weather ahead of time; if the road conditions become too challenging, be sure to have alternative transportation methods available until it’s safe to return to cycling.
Always Wear Your Gear
It’s essential for your safety to wear a seatbelt when in a vehicle; the same can be said about helmets when riding your bike. Helmets and other protective gear reduce the damage you may sustain if you ever end up in a bicycle accident. The reality of bicycle accidents is that they can be much more severe for cyclists as you are not as protected as you would be inside a car. Consistently wearing a helmet and other safety gear can go a long way in avoiding sprains, strains, breaks, and other traumatic or life-changing injuries.
What Should I do if I’m in a Bicycle Accident?
Unfortunately, even if you take all of the above precautions, the reality is that a bicycle accident can still happen. If you or a loved one find yourselves the victim of a bicycle accident, James H. Brown and Associates is here to help! Since 1993, James H. Brown and Associates has dedicated itself to ensuring accident victims and their families get the justice, support, and compensation they need. Our award-winning personal injury law firm understands firsthand what it’s like to sustain life-altering injuries in an accident. We are proud to provide Albertans with the legal expertise they need to receive fair and complete compensation. Contact us today to be connected with one of our personal injury lawyers and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates.