Tips for Safe Bicycling
Riding a bicycle is an enjoyable, healthy, and environmentally-friendly method of transportation. However, despite the benefits associated with bicycling, riding a bicycle comes with the risk of injury. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there were a total of 370 bicycle accidents across Tennessee in 2020, 12 of which were fatal and 317 of which caused injuries.
While there are many tips for safe bicycling, taking every precaution is no guarantee that you will not be involved in a bicycle accident. Our team at the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed knows this better than anyone else.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident while bicycling in Knoxville, Farragut, or surrounding areas in Tennessee, Mr. Reed and his team can help you hold the negligent driver responsible and pursue fair compensation on your behalf.
Safe Bicycling Tips
Cycling may seem easy. After all, even a child can ride a bicycle. However, sharing the road with other vehicles while bicycling can be challenging and anxiety-inducing. That is why it is essential to follow certain bicycling tips to ensure your safety and prevent accidents:
Follow traffic rules. Just because you are cycling does not mean you should not follow traffic rules. If you share the road with other motor vehicles, you need to obey all traffic signs and signals, yield the right of way when necessary, and follow other rules on the road.
Keep your hands on the bike. Many bicyclists have a great sense of balance, which allows them to ride hands-free or by using only one hand. However, doing so can be dangerous, especially if you are sharing the other with others. When your hands are not on the handlebars, you are less likely to react in time to avoid a collision.
Use turn signals with your hands. While you should keep your hands on the bike to be able to make quick maneuvers, you can take one of your hands off the handlebars to communicate with drivers around you. If you need to stop or turn left or right, make sure that you use proper hand signals to alert other drivers.
Inspect your bicycle before riding. Some bicycle accidents occur because of equipment malfunction in the bike. To prevent accidents caused by equipment failure, make sure to inspect your bicycle before riding, especially if you are planning a long trip. Check if your tires are properly inflated, pedals work efficiently, and the reflectors and lights are still functional.
Wear a helmet. Although Tennessee law does not require all bicyclists to wear helmets (only those under the age of 16 must wear them in TN), wearing a helmet is one of the most crucial bike safety tips. While it may not prevent an accident, it can significantly reduce the risk of serious head injuries and deaths. Unfortunately, only 18% of bicyclists across the United States wear helmets, according to statistics by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Make yourself visible to others. Limited visibility and blind spots are one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents. When drivers cannot see you in their side- and rear-view mirrors, an accident is more likely to happen. In order to make yourself more visible to others, you need to increase your visibility by wearing bright and reflective clothing and installing reflectors on the bicycle.
Do not get distracted. Maintaining focus on the road is one of the key tips for safe bicycling. You may be aware of the dangers of distracted driving, but getting distracted while riding a bicycle can be just as dangerous. When you get distracted by your cell phone, your ability to react decreases significantly, not to mention that you need to use one of your hands to hold the device while riding.
Always be ready to yield. The sad truth is that many drivers do not know basic traffic rules, which is why many accidents occur because drivers do not yield the right of way when they are supposed to. Since you are at a greater risk of severe injuries when bicycling, you should always be ready to yield, even when you have the right of way, to be able to avoid collisions.
These are some of the basic rules that may help you stay safe while riding a bicycle and sharing the road with other vehicles.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Being involved in a bicycle accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, taking the appropriate steps following the collision can make a major difference in the future of your potential legal case:
Call 911 to report the accident and, if needed, request an ambulance
Seek medical attention even if you feel fine at the scene
Exchange information with parties involved in the collision
Talk to witnesses and write down their names and contact information
Take photos of the scene: the positioning of your bike and vehicles involved in the crash, road conditions, and other important details
Consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your further steps
If you were involved in a bicycle accident in Knoxville, Farragut, or surrounding areas in Tennessee—including Union, Clinton, Anderson, Maryville, Blount, or Oak Ridge—our team of bicycle accident attorneys can help.
The Law Office of Joshua S. Reed Can Help
Mr. Reed and his team at Law Office of Joshua S. Reed have extensive experience handling bicycle accident cases throughout the state of Tennessee, including Knoxville and Farragut. We understand the unique challenges bicycle riders face when sharing the road with other vehicles, and we are committed to helping accident victims advocate for their rights. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your compensation options after a bicycle accident.