While riding a bicycle is a great way both to stay in shape and to see the Lone Star State, there has been an alarming increase in the number of rider fatalities in recent years. In fact, in 2020, 82 Texans died in bicycle accidents. This number represents a 21% jump in rider deaths in just a single year.
Even though you cannot control what motorists do, you can take steps to stay safe every time you climb behind the handlebars of your road bike, mountain bike or hybrid. Here are three simple ones.
1. Wear a safety-rated helmet
If your head collides with your bike, another vehicle, the pavement or anything else, you may be vulnerable to a potentially life-threatening traumatic brain injury. Wearing a safety-rated helmet every time you ride may decrease your TBI risk significantly. Remember, to get full protection from your helmet, you must be sure it fits properly.
2. Put on bright or reflective clothing
Due to distracted driving and inattentional blindness, motorists may not see you even if they are looking in your direction. Therefore, you likely want to do everything possible to stand out from your surroundings. While donning high-visibility clothing is a good idea during the day, wearing reflective gear may be advisable at dusk and during nighttime rides.
3. Obey traffic rules
Because bicycles are smaller than cars and commercial vehicles, it can be tempting for riders to disregard traffic rules. Still, if you are not obeying the rules of the road, motorists may not be aware of your presence. While riding in a bike lane or on a bicycle path is generally wise, you must also obey traffic laws when you are on public roadways.
Even if you follow these simple steps, you may eventually suffer a serious injury in a bicycle accident. Ultimately, if someone else causes or contributes to the crash, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help you through your recovery process.