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Bicycle Safety Tips for National Bike Month

Since May is National Bike Month, we thought this was a great time to discuss bicycle safety, especially since riding bicycles are becoming more popular nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 783 bicyclists were killed in the United States in 2017. As you can imagine, when a bicycle collides with a car, SUV, or truck, it’s the bicyclist who’s most likely to sustain injuries.

In honor of National Bike Month, we want to help educate our readers about being responsible for bike riders and drivers, who share the road with bicyclists. After all, bicycling is becoming increasingly popular – more people these days are riding to work, for health, for fun, and to help take better care of our environment.

Reduce the Risk of a Bike Crash

According to the NHTSA, the two main types of bicycle crashes are falls and collisions with cars, which are clearly more dangerous. Regardless of the type of crash, the key is to prevent one before it happens!

Before we provide safety tips, we want you to know that year-round, the majority of bicyclist fatalities occur between 6 PM and 9 PM, and 75% of them occur in urban areas. What’s more, 37% of bicycle crashes involved alcohol in 2017, according to the NHTSA. So, please don’t drink alcohol and ride, ever!

Bicycle safety tips:

  • Always ride a bike that fits you well. If you’re using a bike that is too big or too small, it will be harder for you to control.
  • Ride a bike that is in good working condition. Don’t ride a bike with bad brakes, a loose chain, or bad tires.
  • Always wear a bike helmet and wear bright clothing.
  • When riding at night, use a bike light in the front, wear reflective clothing, and use a red rear light and reflectors so drivers behind you can see you.
  • Do not listen to music or text while riding. Not only are these distracting, but you could get hurt if you don’t hear a car or an ambulance siren.
  • If you are carrying items, put them in a backpack or tie them down to the bike.
  • Tuck your shoelaces into your pant legs.
  • Plan routes so you ride in areas with less traffic and slower-moving traffic.
  • Follow the traffic laws and ride with traffic, not against it.
  • Ride defensively and be vigilant about drivers who don’t’ see you.
  • Be on the lookout for cars pulling out of parking spaces, driveways and parking lots.

When driving, remember those bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, so yield to bicyclists (for safety) and drive carefully. Our advice is to be on the lookout for bicycle riders and when you do see one, be sure to give them plenty of room and avoid putting them in harm’s way.

Next: What Are Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

Injured in a bicycle accident in Schenectady or anywhere in Fulton or Montgomery counties? Contact DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata, LLP today!