It is shocking to learn that more than 1,000 people are killed and another 306,000 are injured every year in bicycle accidents across the US. However, another trend indicated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is even more disturbing: In its recent publication on Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, 75% of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas like Miami. There have already been 304 of these incidents in Miami-Dade County as of early June, just at the halfway point of 2020.
You probably hear plenty of tips on wearing a helmet, preparing your bike, and putting on safety gear to protect yourself – as well as contacting a Miami bicycle accidents lawyer if you were hurt. What you may not know much about is the practice of “predictable” cycling. To a certain extent, you hold the key to reducing these incidents, so read on for some tips on how to be predictable while riding.
How Riding Predictably Decreases Bicycle Accidents
As the term suggests, riding predictably gives other motorists on the road an idea of what you intend to do and not do. When your maneuvers are logical, they will foresee them and adjust their own driving – and be able to react to avoid causing a bicycle accident.
Predictable bicycle riding is more than just being defensive to prevent collisions. It is actually taking a proactive approach, essentially a situation where you are helping the motorist NOT hit you. Drivers do not want to be involved in a bicycle accident any more than you do, so you can support this initiative by being predictable.
Tips on Predictable Bike Riding
With the idea of doing the expected being the goal, some recommendations may help you practice bicycling predictably.
- Ride where you know you will be seen, traveling in the same direction as traffic.
- Avoid or limit riding your bike on sidewalks. Motorists do not expect to see you there, so they may not be on the lookout when backing out of a driveway or turning.
- Use arm signals to indicate turns.
- Never engage in “lane splitting,” a move commonly used by motorcycle riders. You might be tempting to ride in between lanes of traffic when it is slow or backed up, but avoid doing so.
- Always follow traffic regulations, many of which apply to bicycle riders in the same way as drivers of motorized vehicles.
- Obeying traffic laws also means complying with all traffic signs and signals. Do not run through red lights and stop signs.
- Even when designated bike lanes are present, make sure you are still riding in a predictable way. Do not veer in and out of the lane or make left turns from the far right side of the street.
Our Miami Bicycle Accidents Attorneys Assist Injured Victims
Even with safe, predictable riding, you cannot completely eliminate the potential of being hurt in a bicycle accident. For more information on your legal options as an injured victim, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. After reviewing your situation, we can advise you on strategies for recovering compensation.