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Defensive Riding Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

September 5th, 2019

Riding defensively as a cyclist can prevent some accidents and the catastrophic injuries that can accompany them.

Top Defensive Driving Tips 

  1. Car Changes Lanes into You:  Ensure that you are aware of a motorist’s blind spots and spend minimal time in them. Motorists are typically expecting to search their field of vision for cars instead of bicycles.  Therefore, bicycle riders must be aware of the motorist and pay attention to a car’s turn signals, wheels, and driver’s mirrors.
  2. Car doors: Never ride between an active lane of traffic and a lane of parked cars. There is a common term known among cyclists as “The Death Zone.”  If a parked car door is opened in front of you, you have little chance of avoiding it. Therefore, a rider should avoid the scenario altogether.
  3. Never Speed: It’s ok to take it slow as a cyclist. Driving defensively at safe speeds allows a cyclist the time, space and opportunity to have better judgment and make better decisions.
  4. Never Drive Under the Influence: In some states, riding a bicycle under the influence can lead to the same DUI charges as those a motorist could face. However, if you choose to consume alcohol, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and not ride your bike at all. This is good to avoid potential legal trouble as well as increased danger to your own safety and that of others on the road. The best defensive tip is to never drink or do drugs and ride your bike.
  5. Lane Splitting: Riding a bicycle between two lanes of traffic is called “lane splitting.” Many states have made lane splitting illegal due to its inherently dangerous nature. Whether it is illegal or not, one of the best defensive riding tips is to not engage in this activity at all.
  6. Sudden Stops: While this accident is difficult to avoid, driving defensively can shift the odds in your favor. Be careful of the motorists in front of you, and also behind you. Always maintain a safe distance from those in front of you.
  7. Inexperience and Inattention:  Another defensive driving tip includes gaining as much experience as possible riding in all types of environments. Always remain attentive on the roadways. Choose other cyclists to ride with who are also safe.
  8. Left Turn Accidents: One of the most common causes of accidents is when a vehicle makes a left turn in front of a bicycle. Again, always ride defensively, assume that no motorist can see you, and act accordingly.  Slow down and prepare to maneuver out of the way.
  9. Dangerous Weather or Road Conditions: Bad weather can cause serious injuries if your bicycle slips on the road. Poorly maintained road conditions could have you hitting rocks or gravel while riding. Always drive defensively and at a slower speed which can give you the extra time to make safe decisions.
  10. Bicycle Defects: One of the best defensive tips happens before you even are on the roadways. Ensuring the safety of your bicycle is the first step to safety. Make sure that there are no recalls on any of your bike parts or components and that all parts are in good working order.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today 

Even when driving defensively, accidents can happen. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, contacting an experienced accident attorney can help you understand your rights and help you build a strong case for compensation for your injuries.

The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation, does not utilize non-legal staff members to “screen” cases. Contact our office at (504) 586-5200 and you will have the opportunity to speak directly to one of our experienced attorneys about your potential case.

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