The weather is getting nicer and that means that more people will be taking their bikes off the hooks in the garage, checking the tires and heading out on the road.
In other words, it’s time to review the basics of bicycle safety. While it’s every motorist’s job to watch for bicycles and pedestrians, you have to be proactive about protecting yourself from injuries. There are three basic tips you need to remember:
You may enjoy music or a podcast on your travels, but headphones can limit your awareness of the road around you. Save them for the bike trails and keep them out of your ears on city streets.
Wariness means keeping your eye out for vehicles, even if you have the right of way. Although Arizona law gives you the right to be in traffic lanes so long as you follow the regular traffic laws, that doesn’t mean that motorists will always be accepting. Some drivers seem to resent bicyclists on the road and show their ire by driving more aggressively than normal.
Your clothing, your bike, your bike horn, your hand signals and the lights you carry in the dark all contribute to your visibility — and a higher degree of visibility increases your safety. Because bikes are smaller than vehicles (and less expected) drivers can sometimes look right through a bicyclist on the road. Reflective gear and other means of attracting attention keep you safer.
No matter how hard you work to stay safe while biking, your efforts may not amount to much if there’s an aggressive or careless driver on the road. If you’re injured while riding your bike, you have a right to expect compensation for your losses from the responsible party.