You see bicyclists riding down the sidewalk and weaving in and out of lanes. Sometimes they will shoot across a crosswalk, and other times they will come catapulting out of an alley at an astounding rate. However, if you are driving and you hit them, there is a good chance they will get injured. Two tons of metal hitting a person can also kill them, so it may be in a driver’s best interest to watch out for bikes.
Although a bicyclist must obey the rules of the road, just like a driver, they often don’t. There are a few precautions you can take to ensure that you will not hit a bicyclist.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Distracted driving accidents have been on the rise ever since cell phones were invented. You should never text, make a phone call or post on social media when you are driving. Do not look at maps or get distracted by the conversation of your passengers or flipping the radio dial as you are driving. Everything can wait until you are at a safe place to stop.
Look Out for Alleys
Bicyclists will come out of alleys all the time. You will not be able to hear them, and they may not wait to enter traffic in the manner that a car would. Be sure to keep a sharp eye out for alleys when you drive and glance down them to see if anyone is coming.
What to do If a Bicycle is Weaving in and Out of Traffic
If a person on a bike is changing lanes haphazardly, or if they are weaving in and out of traffic, it may be a good idea to call the police. Not only could they injure themselves, but they could end up causing a major accident. When you can pull over, write down the location and a description of the rider.
Watch for Bikes Riding on the Sidewalk
It is perfectly legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in the state of Florida. However, if you see a bicyclist riding down the street, there is a good chance they will be entering traffic in just a moment. They should wait to get to a corner, but oftentimes they do not. Be mindful when you see them and slow down if you think they are about to ride into the street.
Be sure to stay in your lane at all times and never cross over into the bike lane even a little bit. You should always give a turn signal well in advance if a bike is right behind you.
If you do hit a bike, call the police, wait at the scene and make sure to get the names of any witnesses. You should exchange information with the bicyclist. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, which means that a person’s own insurance company must pay for their accident-related bills no matter who is at fault. However, a bicyclist is unlikely to have insurance. You should also call an attorney who is trained in bicycle accident law.You can find more info on abercrombiepa.com
Honk, Wave or Yell
If you frequently commute with your bicycle then you should consider installing a loud horn. Use the horn, when you notice that a car is approaching you and is running ahead. Additionally, if you are not fond of loud horns, and don’t want to put them on your bicycle, then shout, “Hey!”.
You may think that you will look weird while honking or yelling, but you should know that it is better than to get hit on the road by any other vehicle. Waving is a great way to get the attention of a driver. Drivers in cars with their glasses on may not be able to hear your yell, but they will see you waving.
Don’t ride the wrong way
You have a bicycle, and you don’t consider it as a vehicle? It is one of your vehicles. While riding, ensure that you ride the bicycle in the way of a vehicle-motor vehicle. Choose to use the lane made for bicycles whenever possible. It is a trend that the drivers often don’t see bicyclists who are found in the opposite direction from the entire traffic. You should not run from the driveway or side street, as it has higher chances of getting a hit.
Restrain from staying in the blind spot
The bike is a smaller vehicle when compared to trucks, cars, SUVs, etc. Moreover, the bicyclists are not always noticed by the drivers, as they don’t pay attention to them. As a bicyclist, you should never make the mistake of riding your vehicle in the blind spot of cars. This will increase your chances of getting a sideswiped or getting stuck while riding the vehicle on the road.
Ensure that your vehicle and you are clearly visible on the road with reflectors on them. When your bike has reflectors, people can more clearly notice you and your vehicle. While you are riding your bike during dusk or at night, make sure that you use a light. You can also wear a jacket that has reflective tape, or lights that flash. This will make you more visible. It helps to prevent you from getting crashed and thus suffering from head injuries.
All these tips will help to keep you safe and enhance your security. Don’t be a negligent driver, and this will avoid you from getting hit on the road. If you ever feel that you are about to hit any other vehicle, pull your bike over to the sides. Wait for the vehicle to pass you feel you have danger from. You can pull back again after. Also, stay away from the reach of doors of the cars that open on the road.
Bikes are fun to ride, but not so much fun to ride behind. Being aware of your surroundings can help to avoid a serious accident.