If you enjoy cycling in and around the Savannah area, you are not alone. You can see bicycles all over town and all the way to Tybee Island. A healthy, fun, economical and environmentally friendly way to get where you need to go, what is there not to love about cycling? Unfortunately, there are countless cyclists injured in crashes every year. If you are cycling in Savannah, Georgia, or anywhere else, as a matter of fact, you need to know what to do to stay safe and reduce your chances of being in a bike accident. Below you will find tips to take responsibility for your own safety and do everything you can to make yourself more visible so you can avoid getting in a bike accident on the future.
- Your first step in staying safe when cycling is making sure you are visible. Visibility is essential. Makes sure you stand out so drivers are going to notice you. To do this, avoid wearing common colors. Blue, brown, white, and black will blend into the landscape and keep you from standing out and being noticed. Brighter colors such as neon yellow, lime green, hot pink, and orange will help you stand out from your surroundings. You can wear a bright jersey, safety vest, or shirt to stand out. Wearing a brightly colored helmet can also help you stand out.
- When you are riding your bike after dusk or before dawn, you need to make sure you have the proper lighting so you will be seen. That means having a white headlight and a red taillight. Each light should be visible for several hundred feet. Make sure your bike has enough reflectors on the fenders and the foot pedals. You should have adequate reflectors on your clothing and helmet, as well. Reflective tape on your chest, back, and legs could be very beneficial. It is wise to carry extra reflective tape along because you might need it. Take extra batteries along for your headlight and taillight.
- Be aware of the traffic laws and adhere to them. When you are riding your bike, ride far enough over in the lane so cars are able to pass you at a distance so they will not sideswipe you. If you are completely against the curb, you are much more likely to come across debris. Drivers are also much more likely to get too close and come into contact with you. It is easy for a cyclist to be sideswiped by a vehicle or struck by a mirror because the driver fails to properly judge the distance. Of course, if you are riding in a cycling lane, be careful how you position yourself in the lane and do not ride the line.
- Use extra care at intersections. Be sure to make eye contact with the drivers so you know that you have been seen. Pay close attention to stop signs and do not blow off traffic lights. Always adhere to traffic signs and traffic lights. Keep your hand on the brake so you can get out of the way if the need arises.
- Always assume that drivers do not see you. Stay alert and assume drivers are not going to notice you approaching. Always be ready to take defensive action if it is necessary so you can avoid the crash.
What are Some Savannah Cycling Situations I Should Avoid for My Safety?
If you are cycling around Savannah, Georgia, there are some situations you should try to avoid to prevent a bike accident. There are some situations that are very risky and are much more likely to lead to injuries. Here are the leading causes of cycle crashes:
⦁ Getting Doored – Watch for areas where cars are parked along the sides of the streets. The threat of being hit by a car door being opened is real. To avoid being hit by a car door, you should make sure you are riding at least four feet over in the lane. That way, an opening car door cannot reach you. When cycling through these areas, watch for vehicles that are stopped in the turn lane with their emergency flashers on. These vehicles are very likely they are dropping off or picking up passengers. If you can at all, avoid areas where there are many cars parked during hours when people are most likely going to be getting in and out of their vehicles.
⦁ The Right Hook – A common cause of cycling accidents is the right hook. Never pull your bike up to the right side of a vehicle when you approach an intersection. Even if there is a bike lane, don’t pull up to the right of the vehicle. Because bicycles are a much smaller size, they can easily get in a vehicle’s blind spot. When a vehicle makes a right turn, they could easily turn into you or run over you. You often do not have time to react if the vehicle starts making a right turn.
⦁ Potholes and Road Debris – Regardless of where you are riding, you are going to encounter debris and potholes. These are dangers that you need to watch for and try to avoid. As you ride through an area, strategically glance down so you can be prepared. Also, ride at a safe speed so you can avoid the pothole when possible and avoid a bike accident. Make sure the bike remains loose so the blow can be absorbed safely if you must hit the pothole. When possible, avoid riding in areas where you are not familiar with the roads.
⦁ Big Trucks and Buses – Stay alert and watch for big trucks and buses. Larger vehicles have horrible blind spots, so they are not going to see you as quickly as a regular passenger vehicle would. You should never attempt to approach these vehicles on the right-hand side. Never approach large vehicles too fast or from behind or you could end up underneath the large vehicle.
Consult with a Savannah Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Bike Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a bike accident in Savannah, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with handling such claims. The Bader Law Firm has a team of lawyers who have helped hundreds of people who have been injured in cycling crashes throughout the years. Working on a contingency basis, we will not be paid until you get compensation. Our legal fee will come out of your compensation for your Savannah personal injury claim. Call us today at 678-562-5595 to schedule a free case review.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.