Cycling is growing in popularity. After all, it is a fun, healthy, economical, and environmentally friendly way to get where you need to go. Even the safest cyclist can be involved in a crash. If you ride your bike often, you need to be aware of how to stay safe and how to avoid a bike crash. In order to increase your chances of staying safe while on the road, you should try to do everything you can so you will be visible to car drivers. Remember, visibility is the key to making yourself noticed by drivers and staying out of the way of other vehicles. Here are a few tips for improving your visibility when cycling in and around Rome, Georgia.
How Visibility Could Help You Avoid a Rome, Georgia Bike Crash
Wear Bright Colors
Visibility is the most important step in staying safe. You want drivers to notice you when you are out on the roads. To do this, wear colors that stand out. Hot pink, lime green, neon yellow, and orange will help you stand out from your surroundings. A brightly colored jersey, vest, or jacket can get you noticed by drivers. Common clothing colors, such as blue, green, brown, or black can cause you to blend into the landscape and make you even less visible. Bright colors and bright patterns could decrease your chances of being missed by a driver and ending up in a bike crash.
Use Proper Lighting
When it is dark, you should make sure you have the proper lighting and reflectors to make sure you are noticed. Anytime you are out before dawn or after dusk, you need to make sure you are adhering to traffic laws and you have the right lighting on your bike. That means a white headlight and a red taillight. Each should be visible for several hundred feet. Reflectors should be placed on the pedals, fenders, and even the spokes of the wheels. Make sure you have reflectors on your clothing as well. If your clothing does not already have reflectors, try taking a roll of reflective tape and putting strips on your chest, your back, and your legs. Reflective bands can be worn around ankles and wrists. Place reflectors on your helmet as well. You want to ensure complete visibility in order to avoid a bike crash. Don’t get caught in the dark. To ensure your safety, take along a roll of reflective tape and extra batteries for your headlight and taillight.
Stay Up-to-Date on Local Laws
Be familiar with Rome, Georgia, traffic laws. Always adhere to the traffic regulations to improve your safety. Place yourself in the lane so cars will have to pass you far enough away so you will not get sideswiped by passing vehicles. If you are riding on the curb, you are much more likely to hit debris, which can cause an accident. Many accidents are caused by drivers sideswiping cyclists because they get too close as they pass. If you place yourself strategically, they are not able to get that close and must go around you in the other lane.
Stay Mindful as You Ride
Watch out for cars at intersections and use extra care. When you approach an intersection, don’t blow off traffic lights or stop signs. Instead, adhere to the traffic laws and use extreme caution. Keep your hand on the brake in case you need to get out of the way. Make sure you make eye contact with the drivers so you can be sure that they have seen you. Proceed through the intersection with caution.
Make the assumption that you are not visible. Be prepared to take defensive action if necessary. Stay alert and watch for drivers. Be prepared for anything you might encounter on the roads.
Are There Some Rome, Georgia, Cycling Situations I Should Avoid?
There are some situations that you should try to avoid when you are cycling because the circumstances are much more dangerous than others. Here are a few of those risky situations that might be encountered by a cyclist in Rome:
Cars Parked Along the Street
Use extreme caution in areas where cars park along the sides of the streets. There is a real threat of being hit by a car door when it is opened. You should ride at least four feet out in the street to avoid being hit by an opening door. That way, the door cannot reach you and you reduce your chances of getting into a bike crash. Also, watch for vehicles stopped in the turn lane with their emergency flashers on. These vehicles are most likely dropping off or picking up passengers. When at all possible, avoid areas with a lot of parked vehicles during the hours when people are most likely going to be entering or exiting their cars.
Be Wary of Right Turns
The right turn is another leading cause of cycling crashes and can be avoided. Don’t pull up on the right side of a vehicle when you are approaching an intersection. Even if a bike lane exists, don’t pull up in that lane to the right of any vehicle. Remember, you and your bike are smaller than other vehicles. You could easily end up in a blind spot and be hit when a vehicle makes a right turn after not realizing you are there. You might find yourself trapped with no time to react.
Look Out for Pot Holes
Anywhere you ride, you are going to encounter road debris and pot holes. These are real dangers that you are going to encounter and that you need to know how to avoid. You should strategically glance down when riding so you can look for any risks or obstacles. Don’t go too fast, ride at a safe speed. Be prepared to either avoid the obstacle or leave go slowly enough so that you can safely absorb the blow without crashing. Try to avoid roads that you aren’t familiar with.
Make Sure You Avoid Car Blind Spots
Remain alert and particularly watch for larger vehicles, such as big trucks and buses. Horrible blind spots plague larger vehicles, so never approach these vehicles on the right-hand side. You should never approach these larger vehicles from behind or too fast because you could end up underneath the truck.
Schedule a Consultation with a Rome, GA, Bike Crash Attorney
If you have suffered personal injuries following a Rome, Georgia, bike crash, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling bike accidents. The Bader Law Firm, LLC, is a team of experienced Rome personal injury attorneys who have helped countless cyclists throughout the years. You will not have any up front costs because our firm works on a contingency fee basis. Call The Bader Law Firm today at 678-562-5595 to schedule a free case evaluation and get your Rome, Ga., personal injury claim underway.
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.