Bicycle riding can be dangerous, even for the most cautious cyclist. Drivers are not always keeping a lookout for bicycles on the roadway. When collisions do occur, bicycle riders are left without the physical protection of a vehicle (or its airbags and seat belts). This is why it is so important for bicycle riders in the Dallas area to be alert and cautious on the road.
By learning and implementing safe riding practices, bicycle riders can reduce their risk of collision and injury. It is easy to fall into unsafe riding habits. Bicyclists, like drivers, should constantly evaluate their own road habits to identify any challenges, and mitigate the risk of a collision accordingly.
How To Reduce the Risk of Having a Bicycle Accident in Dallas
Dallas News recently spoke with seasoned bicycle riders in the Dallas area to get their best tips for safe riding. First and foremost, helmet use is vital. Even though a helmet is not legally required for riders over the age of 18, the statistical evidence of helmet efficacy is overwhelming. Bicycle Universe reports that only 17 percent of bicycle fatality victims in the United States in 2015 were wearing helmets. The Guardian reports that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of injury by nearly 70 percent. Similar findings have been reported over several decades of research. The facts are clear - riders have a better chance of surviving bicycle accidents if they are wearing helmets.
That being said, helmets do not prevent all injuries. Even cyclists who were injured while not wearing helmets have legal rights, and motorists who negligently cause injuries to cyclists need to be held accountable whether or not the victim was wearing a helmet at the time of the injury.
Next, Dallas riders recommend finding side roads with less traffic. The presence of cars increases the risk of having a collision. Slower, less congested roads allow cyclists more space and time to maneuver. This is especially important for new cyclists who are less familiar with bicycle traffic patterns. New riders should also start with shorter rides on easier paths until they become more comfortable and experienced. Familiarity with a bike, understanding traffic patterns, and other vital traffic skills can only be learned with time and experience. Be patient and give yourself space to learn these skills.
It is also important to know where accidents are most likely to occur. Intersections are known to have more accidents than other parts of the road. Bicyclists should be especially alert at intersections. In addition to crossing only in designated crosswalks at designated signals, bicyclists should monitor other drivers to ensure they are seen. Drivers are not always expecting bicyclists to be present in intersections. Be sure you are seen. Use bells or signals as necessary. It is also important not to be distracted by music, earbuds, smart phones, or other devices while at an intersection.
Our Dallas bicycle accident attorneys know just how devastating a bicycle accident can be. They also know how to prove the many different losses which occur as the result of a bicycle accident. When a negligent driver causes an injury to a bicyclist, it is important to hold that driver accountable for the damages. This both protects an injury victim’s legal right to compensation and also promotes safer driving habits in the future.