As an avid cyclist, you may enjoy the ability to travel to destinations in the open air or delight in a fun activity that allows you to get exercise. Whatever the reason you may have for biking, you likely understand that certain risks come along with the activity. You could potentially fall or strike an object, or in the worst cases, you may find yourself involved in an accident with a vehicle.
Bicycle-vehicle accidents can cause severe injuries, and you certainly want to remain as safe as possible while on the road. Therefore, you may wish to remember to take certain actions that may allow you to better protect yourself and others when cycling on or near roadways.
1. Stay alert
Though many people may think that defensive driving only applies to individuals operating cars, this technique can also benefit bicyclists. You may remain defensive by scanning for potential hazards, planning your travel route, checking traffic ahead of time and giving yourself enough time to get to your destination without feeling rushed. These actions may allow you to better look out for situations that could prove dangerous to you.
2. Remember the rules
You should also remember to follow the same rules of the road that vehicle drivers have. Traveling with the flow of traffic, avoiding distractions and obeying traffic signs and signals can help improve your safety. Additionally, you may wish to assume that other travelers do not see you, and if you fear that an accident may occur, you may want to make arm motions or shout in hopes of alerting drivers to your presence.
3. Avoid the sidewalk
Though you may think it safer to bike on the sidewalk instead of on the road, sidewalk biking can pose its own hazards. A sidewalk could end suddenly, resulting in your needing to travel on the road, and you may catch drivers off guard by such a sudden appearance. Moreover, vehicles leaving driveways or parking lots may not look for cyclists on sidewalks, and you could put yourself at risk of getting hit. In many areas, laws even prevent riding on sidewalks.
Of course, even when you take steps to protect yourself, you cannot always account for the actions of other individuals. If a vehicle driver causes an accident that results in your suffering serious injuries, you may wish to consider filing a personal injury claim in order to seek compensation for medical bills and other damages permitted in Florida.