The warm days of spring and summer have finally started to set in here in Northeast Ohio. You’ll likely start seeing an uptick in bicyclists as a result.
Bicycling serves as an excellent opportunity to get in some exercise in the fresh air. This activity comes with some inherent dangers, though. One of those is the risk of getting hurt when sharing the road with motorists.
There are measures that bicyclists can take to reduce their injury or fatality risk when sharing the road with automobiles. Here are a few:
Be extra vigilant when approaching blind spots on your bike
Bicyclists often hesitate when they come upon driveways, parking lot exits and side streets. They often fear that motorists won’t stop as they come upon these and that they’ll crash into them. You owe it to yourself to approach any of these cautiously. Slow down as you approach a blind spot and scan a parking lot to see if anyone is moving toward the exit. These behaviors may help you avoid a crash.
Make yourself as visible as possible to motorists
One of the more common comments drivers make after crashing into bicyclists is that they didn’t see them. You can make it easier for motorists to see you if you’re wearing bright or reflective clothing. It’s essential that you do so at night when visibility is the worst. It can be helpful to affix reflectors to your bike’s spokes and to install a headlight as well.
Steer clear of riding your bike on sidewalks
Many bicyclists ride on sidewalks to protect themselves from being struck by cars. This is a dangerous practice for bicyclists, especially as they approach intersections, though. A motorist may not anticipate encountering them and crash into a bike rider as a result.
Don’t ride your bike down the wrong side of the road
Studies show that 25% of all bike accidents result from bicyclists riding down the wrong side of the road. Riders are generally expected to ride with traffic, not against it.
Motorists have an obligation to operate their vehicles safely
Many of the tips above focus on the steps that bicyclists can take to keep themselves safe when sharing the road with automobiles. Drivers have a responsibility to remain vigilant for bike riders too. Ohio law may allow you to hold a negligent motorist liable for damages depending on the circumstances of your case.