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Dos and Don’ts When Riding Your Bike

Law Office of Joshua S. Reed Sept. 28, 2022

Whether you ride your bicycle for exercise, recreation, or commuting, there are many dangers and hazards you may face the moment your feet touch the pedals. If you share the road with motor vehicles, it is crucial that you practice safe bicycling and stay focused on the road at all times.  

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are not an uncommon occurrence in the state of Tennessee. More than 370 bicycle accidents occurred in Tennessee in 2020, according to the state’s Department of Safety & Homeland Security.  

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident while riding a bike in Knoxville, Farragut, or other parts of Tennessee, contact our bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed for help. Our team is dedicated to representing victims of bicycle accidents to help them fight for their rights and pursue fair compensation. From his office in Knoxville, Tennessee, Mr. Reed serves clients in surrounding areas, including Farragut, Anderson, Clinton, Blount, Oak Ridge, Union, and Maryville.  

Dos When Bicycling  

A number of bicycle accidents occur because bicyclists fail to ride their bikes safely. You can significantly minimize the risk of an accident if you follow some of the basic dos and don’ts of riding a bike. Dos when bicycling include: 

  1. DO follow traffic rules. Unfortunately, many bicyclists on Tennessee roads do not understand or simply do not follow the rules of the road. Obeying traffic signs and signals is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and prevent an accident when riding your bike.  

  1. DO wear protective gear. It is critical to prioritize your safety when riding a bicycle. Invest in proper protective equipment to ensure your safety. Although Tennessee law does not require cyclists over the age of 16 to wear a helmet, wearing one can significantly reduce the risk of serious and deadly head injuries.  

  1. DO use hand signals. Most bicycles are not equipped with turn signals, which is why bicyclists must use their hands to signal their intention to turn or stop. Using hand signals is important to ensure that drivers around you understand your next move.  

  1. DO inspect your bike before hitting the road. Unfortunately, the vast majority of bicycle riders skip this step. However, it is crucial to inspect your bicycle before embarking on your trip. Specifically, you need to check the inflation of your tires and inspect the condition of your brakes and lights.  

  1. DO practice defensive riding. When riding a bicycle, always anticipate potential dangers on the road. Riding your bike in a defensive way can minimize the likelihood of accidents, while learning to anticipate hazards and sudden maneuvers ahead could potentially save your life.  

Riding a bicycle can be a fun way to commute to and from work and get plenty of physical activity. However, it is vital to take your safety seriously when sharing the road with other drivers. 

Don’ts When Bicycling  

Following the dos of riding a bike may not be enough to protect your safety and prevent accidents. There are also certain things you should avoid when bicycling:  

  1. DON’T get distracted. Distracted riding is just as dangerous as distracted driving. Avoid using your cell phone or other devices while riding a bike. In addition, do not wear headphones while bicycling because it could impair your ability to hear what’s going on around you and anticipate potential hazards.  

  1. DON’T assume that other drivers will notice you. Many bicycle accidents occur because a driver simply does not see the bicyclist. That is why you should increase your visibility to other drivers as much as possible. Never assume that drivers will notice you. Make yourself noticeable and do not linger in blind spots. 

  1. DON’T ride a bicycle wearing unsuitable clothing. Your clothing could make you practically indivisible to drivers, especially when riding at night. That is why it is essential to invest in bright and reflective clothing to make yourself noticeable to others on the road.  

  1. DON’T stop or turn suddenly. As mentioned earlier, you must use your hands to signal your intention to turn or stop. Other drivers may not be able to avoid a collision with you if you make sudden moves without making your intentions clear.  

  1. DON’T ride on busy streets and intersections. Riding a bike through an intersection is always an anxiety-inducing experience, no matter how many times you have done it. Plan your route in advance to avoid busy streets and intersections as much as possible.  

Unfortunately, bicyclists make these mistakes every single day. These bicycle riders put themselves at risk of injury or death without realizing it.  

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident   

When you are involved in an accident while riding your bike, there are certain steps to take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights: 

  • If you can move, get off the road to prevent further injuries 

  • Call 911 to report the accident 

  • Seek medical attention 

  • Exchange information with drivers involved 

  • Speak to witnesses and get their contact information 

  • Gather evidence at the scene 

  • Document your injuries 

  • Contact an attorney 

Navigating the personal injury claims process when trying to focus on your recovery can be a daunting task. Fortunately, you can hire a local attorney to advocate for your rights and handle the claim on your behalf while you devote your time and energy to your treatment.  

Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Tennessee  

A bicycle accident can be a life-changing event. While you cannot force everyone else to use reasonable care, you can minimize the likelihood of accidents by following the dos and don’ts of riding a bike. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in Knoxville, Farragut, or elsewhere in Tennessee, call the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed for legal help. Contact Mr. Reed’s office for a consultation.