Cycling is a fun activity. However, it can be dangerous if a person does not do it responsibly. A careless rider can injure a pedestrian or get in an accident with a vehicle, in which case it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. If you are a cyclist, there are certain things you can do to prevent accidents and liability.
Before the ride
You may be an experienced cyclist, but you can get in an accident if your bike has a problem. That is why you must check your bicycle thoroughly before heading out. You can ensure a safe ride by:
- Making sure that the breaks work
- Carrying all items in a backpack
- Tucking and tying your shoelaces so that they can´t get stuck in the bike chain
- Choosing a route with less traffic and slower speeds
Additionally, you should always wear protective gear to prevent injuries in the event of an accident. Make sure you wear a helmet, bright clothing and front and rear lights when driving at night or when visibility is not clear.
On the road
Accidents can happen anywhere, but you need to be especially careful if you ride in the city. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), 78% of bicyclist deaths occurred in urban areas in 2019. That is why you must always obey traffic laws and do the following while riding on the road:
- Ride in the same direction as traffic, never against it
- Slow down when you cross a street
- Slow down when you see a car backing out
- Use a white front light and a red rear reflector or light when riding at night
- Look over your shoulder before changing lanes or turning
You must also avoid riding on the sidewalks, as it is illegal to do so in Atlanta. Only children under 12 can ride on the sidewalk.
Even if you obey traffic laws, a careless driver can hit you. In that case, you could file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. Their insurance company may try to blame you by saying that you ran out in front of the car. Still, if you did not do anything wrong, you have the right to receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages. You should never pay for something that wasn’t your fault, and the driver would have to take responsibility for their mistake.