Make Yourself Seen to Avoid a Two-Wheeled Disaster
“It’s not my fault. I didn’t see him or his bike.”
Nearly everyone has heard the old saying that claims ignorance is bliss. For many negligent drivers, ignorance is not only bliss, but also a popular excuse for when they collide with cyclists. Unfortunately, blaming visual ignorance will not keep them from being liable, nor reverse the potentially catastrophic damage they have done to the rider. This is why bike and motorcycle awareness is essential for both drivers and riders alike.
The Danger of Being Overlooked
Bicyclists often receive the short end of the stick on the road. Although they have every right to share the space with other vehicles, bikes are not cars. As such, many motorists often overlook them, harbor feelings of resentment and annoyance at the sight of them, and ignore the need to look out for the smaller vehicles. Unfortunately, this inequality puts bikers at a great disadvantage when it comes to safety.
Importance of Visibility and Precautions
It’s unfair to place the burden of safety solely on the shoulders of bicyclists, especially when many bike accidents are caused by motorists failing to follow the rules of the road. However, many potentially deadly bike traffic accidents are prevented by the quick-thinking actions and preparation of rule-abiding bikers.
Let’s be clear about this: if you have the right of way as a bicyclist, and if you’re injured by a negligent motor vehicle driver, you are not to blame. He should have been looking out for you. However, being in the legal right isn’t really a great comfort when you’re in a hospital bed with serious injuries. The outcome can be much better for you if you take additional safety precautions so the car driver notices you and the collision never happens.
Ensure your safety by making sure you follow these essential safety tips the next time you gear up your bike:
- Wear bright clothing. You can reduce the chance of being overlooked by wearing visibly bright articles of clothing. Whether you wear reflective pants or shoes or a neon jacket, make sure your body is easily distinguishable against the environment (especially when the environment is dark).
- Light up your ride. If you are riding a bike at night you are required by law to have a headlight. However, anything extra that you can do to make sure you are seen, such as adding reflectors or blinking lights to your helmet and back tire, is worth the time and trouble.
- Ride with caution. You should always be very cautious of everything that is going around you. Just because you can see the cars does not mean that they can see you. Riding with the assumption that cars cannot see you takes a good deal of effort, but they added caution can prevent a tragedy. Try to think a few steps ahead at all times—will that truck need to hit its brakes for you to make that turn in front of it? What are the odds of the car beside you turning right at the approaching intersection? Will the car behind you need to switch lanes to avoid clipping you?
Being Seen and Heard Following a Collision
While every bicycle safety advocate (including bicycle injury lawyers) will push for bicyclists to equip themselves with lights, reflectors, and bright colors in order to be seen, the fact is that most cars may still never know you are there. If you or a loved one is injured as a result of a bike accident, we can help.
The law offices of Steven Lee, P.C. have been dedicated to serving bike collision victims for over 35 years. We know how difficult pursuing an injury claim can be during recovery, which is why we provide transportation options, home and hospital visits, and experienced guidance with every aspect of your claim. Contact us today at 713-921-4171 or 1-800-232-3711 to get the help you deserve.