Riding a bicycle is a great way to exercise, save money on gas and enjoy the outdoors. When sharing the road with motor vehicles, however, bicyclists must be aware of the risks.
In 2020, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reported more than 350 bicycle accidents. Learning the leading causes of bicycle collisions can help you ride safely.
Ignoring the rules
Vigilance and following the rules of the road can help prevent accidents. This is especially important at intersections, where the majority of collisions take place.
When you are riding your bike, motorists must yield to you, and you both must yield to pedestrians. Cyclists must obey stop signs and traffic lights. Use hand signals to indicate turns and lane changes.
Lack of visibility
Many crashes occur because the motorist does not see the cyclist until it is too late. Wearing a brightly-colored helmet or reflective clothing can make drivers notice you, reducing the risk of a collision. Avoid riding in a vehicle’s blind spot; stay in front of or behind the vehicle.
Failure to yield
Although you have right of way, not all motorists will yield to you. Collisions often happen because a motorist failed to yield to the cyclist. Unfortunately, you can not control drivers’ behavior, but you can reduce your risk.
Pay attention to drivers’ turn signals so you know where they are going. Whenever possible, make eye contact with the motorist to ensure that he or she sees you.
Bicycle collisions are all too common, but by following the rules of the road and paying close attention to your surroundings, you can reduce the risk of an accident and share the road safely with drivers.