Florida is known for its wonderful weather and fabulous outdoor entertainment options. In an effort to take advantage of all the sunny days typically enjoyed in the southern state, many residents and visitors choose to travel by bicycle. But, as your Naples bicycle accident lawyer knows, traveling by bike can be a tricky and somewhat dangerous task. That being the case, all bikers are encouraged to read and heed the following safety tips that can help keep you and others on the road as safe as possible.
Follow the Rules of the Road…and Maintain Control of Your Bike
According to the Florida Bicycle Association, approximately half of the collisions that occur between automobiles and bikes are caused by motorists, while the other half of collisions are caused by bikers who fail to abide by the rules of the road.
That said, bikers are encouraged to not only obey all traffic signs and signals, but also use the appropriate lanes for traveling and turning (adult riders should not be biking on sidewalks). It is also a good idea to know your own skill level when it comes to operating your bike. If you do not have the appropriate skill level to know how and when to brake, start and turn properly, the end results can be falls and/or collisions with others on the road.
When Riding at Night, Make Sure You’re Visible
In Florida, just about 60 percent of adult fatalities on bikes take place during twilight and nighttime hours. The law requires cyclists who bike at night to have rear and front lights on their bikes. Be warned: Law enforcement officers can issue a cyclist a ticket if he or she does not have the bike properly equipped for riding at night.
Use a Helmet…and a Rearview Mirror
Bikers (and motorcyclists) are often encouraged to wear helmets when riding, regardless of whether the law requires it or not. Statistics show that almost 75 percent of bike-related deaths are caused by head injuries. You should also be aware that in Florida, all bikers under 16 years of age must wear helmets.
Riders are also encouraged to use rearview mirrors when cycling. Mirrors help bikers monitor the traffic approaching from behind. There are mirrors that can be attached to a helmet or glasses and used to scan the road by turning the head to each side.
Make Sure Your Bike is Road-Ready
Just like automobiles, bicycles need to be properly maintained. Prior to taking a bike ride, riders should check all the working parts of the bike to ensure they’re operating as required. Bikers should also pay particular attention to the wheels of the bike, ensuring there is adequate air pressure and tread on the tires.
Bike riding can be a fun (and health-conscious) mode of transportation. We want everyone to stay safe when biking; however, if you or someone you love has been injured in a bike collision with a motor vehicle, contact Ryan Kuhl at The Kuhl Law Firm today. Let us help you obtain the just compensation to which you may be entitled.