As it begins to warm up outside, more and more people hit the streets on their bicycles and on foot. Walking, jogging, and riding a bicycle are all great ways to get some exercise and enjoy the nice weather – not to mention the savings on gas.
In order to stay safe, it is important for bicyclists and pedestrians to keep a watchful eye and observe the rules of the road. Data suggests that the risk of accidents increases from January through June, so spring is a time to be extra vigilant as you get back into your biking or walking routine. Here are some things you can do to help protect yourself from serious accidents and injuries:
Top Tips for Bicycle Riders
● Be seen. Make sure your bike is equipped with reflectors, and consider purchasing a headlight and taillight. Lights not only help you see after dark, but also make you more noticeable to drivers – even during the day. Wearing high-visibility clothing can help you stand out as well.
● Observe the rules of the road. Unless there is a designated bike lane, bicyclists should ride in the vehicle lanes with the flow of traffic. Observe all traffic signals, including red lights and stop signs.
● Make your intentions clear. Use the universal hand signals for turning and stopping. Avoid swerving and other sudden maneuvers.
● Stay aware of your surroundings. Never assume that a car isn’t coming. Always look twice before crossing a road or entering any intersection, and look over your shoulder before turning or changing lanes.
● Don’t drink and ride. Over one-third of all fatal bicycle accidents involve either a drunk driver or a drunk rider. Almost a quarter involves riders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above the legal limit.
Top Tips for Pedestrians
● Be seen. Just like bicycle riders, pedestrians need to be seen in order to stay safe. When walking or jogging before sunrise or after dark, be sure to wear reflective clothing and shoes that will make you more visible to oncoming motorists. During the day, brightly-colored clothing can help you stand out against your surroundings as well. In urban areas, avoid standing behind light posts and other obstructions where cars might not see you before you step into the road.
● Stay hydrated. Becoming dehydrated can affect your reaction time and impair your decision-making abilities. Fuel up before you set off, and carry enough water to keep you hydrated until you reach your destination.
● Observe crossing signals. In urban areas, it is important to observe all crossing signals. Cars and buses can approach quickly, and someone speeding to beat a yellow light may not be focused on the pedestrians crossing in front of them.
● Look both ways. Regardless of where you are, always look both ways before crossing the road.
New Jersey’s Law Firm for Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Claims
At Petro Cohen, P.C., we represent individuals and families of individuals who have been seriously injured or killed in bicycle and pedestrian accidents. If you want to obtain maximum financial compensation for your injuries and losses, contact us today.