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Bicycle safety tips every rider should know

AdobeStock_107428778.jpegRiding a bicycle is a great way to get some exercise, save money on gas and get around Atlanta. And groups across the state are interested in making the city safer and more appealing for cyclists, whether they are children riding to school or adults commuting to work.

Bicycle safety should be a top priority for any rider, and there are numerous steps cyclists can take to avoid accidents and injuries during their ride.

Knowing the most dangerous times and places

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal bike accidents occurred most at night (between 6-9 p.m.). They are also most likely to happen in urban areas. Further, as discussed in an article from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, nearly 90 percent of road accidents (including bicycle accidents) occurred on less than 8 percent of the city’s streets. In other words, staying off the road at night and avoiding the highest-injury streets can help keep bicyclists safe.

Wearing proper gear

Every rider should wear a helmet that fits properly. Riders should also wear bright clothing and reflective gear. They should have lights and reflectors on their bikes. Shoelaces and loose clothing should be secured to prevent them from getting caught in the wheels or chain. Having a mirror and bell can also be helpful.

Practicing safe riding habits

Every rider should know the rules of the road and comply with them at all times. Riders should also be defensive and alert, as motorists may not see someone on a bicycle. It can also be wise to avoid any unpredictable movements or actions. Use hand signals and learning how to communicate effectively with drivers can also help riders avoid accidents.

Unfortunately, even riders who take these precautions can still be at risk of getting injured in a bicycle accident. Should one occur, it is crucial for bicyclists to seek medical attention right away, as a collision with a car or other rider can result in severe injuries. It may also be wise to talk to an attorney after a crash to determine if there may be grounds for a legal claim seeking compensation.