Due to their lack of safety, a crash on a bicycle might result in severe injuries and subsequent financial, emotional, and personal losses. However, there are safety tips that every bicyclist in Michigan may benefit from following, such as riding defensively. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, however, a compassionate Michigan lawyer could help you pursue a claim for compensation.
Ways to Avoid Bicycle Accidents
While some collisions may seem unavoidable or may be due to the reckless behavior of another, there are numerous ways that a bicyclist can actively work to avoid being involved in a crash. These safety tips include, but are not limited to:
- Ride predictably, consistently, and attentively
- Where motor vehicle speeds exceed 45 MPH, ride in bike lanes or on paved shoulders except when avoiding road hazards, passing another vehicle, or making a left turn
- Watch for inattentive motorists—do not assume that they see you
- Whenever possible, ride with the direction of traffic
- Check for traffic—before entering or crossing an intersection, street, or driveway
- Avoid wearing headphone
- Be aware of parked cars
- Always follow the law, including all appropriate road signage
- Use a bell or horn to signal or alert drivers of your presence
- Use a headlight and a rear light, especially at night
- Use a mirror to glance at traffic behind, especially when approaching intersections
- Slow down—so you can stop quickly, if necessary
Bicyclist Checklist Before Riding
Along with a number of actions a cyclist can take while on a bike, there are multiple safety tips each person can follow before riding their bike. These include:
- Wear bright colors—bicyclists should wear bright colored clothing and reflective gear even during the day to increase your visibility to motorists
- Check your air—ensure proper tire pressure, and check for damage to tread and sidewall
- Check your brakes—inspect for wear and tear, check pad adjustment, check brake lever with the brake applied
- Check your cranks—make sure crank bolts are tight and lube only the threads
- Check your chain and cassette—the 12 links on a chain should measure no more than 12 1⁄8 inches long. If chain skips on freewheel or cassette, you may need an adjustment or new chain and freewheel/cassette
- Check quick releases—wheel hubs need to be tight in the bike frame. Your hub quick release should engage at 90°. Hub quick releases should point to the back of the bike to ensure they don’t catch on anything. Inspect brake quick releases to ensure that brake cables have been re-engaged
- Check it over—take a quick ride to ensure that everything is working properly
How to Prevent Injuries in a Cycling Crash
One of the most essential safety measures a bicyclist can take to avoid injury in the event of an accident is to wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet can decrease the chances for serious brain damage and head injuries, should a cyclist crash. Currently, under Michigan law, bicyclists are not required to wear a helmet. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in preventing and reducing the severity of head and brain injuries.
What to do After a Cycling Crash
While there are a number of ways for bicyclists to prevent an accident, the negligence of a motorist or other individual may make a crash unavoidable. If you were involved in a cycling wreck, it may be advisable to do the following:
- Do not move if you are seriously injured and wait for medical help
- Accept medical help—even if you do not feel severely injured
- Wait for the police—so an accident report can be filed with statements from witnesses and the at-fault driver, and the crash scene can be investigated
- Leave damaged property and equipment as it was until police arrive
- Contact an attorney
While following Michigan bicycle safety tips could be an essential way to avoid collisions, some accidents are beyond the control of a bicyclist. If so, you might benefit from the help of a compassionate and skilled lawyer. When the negligence of another person, business, or entity caused your injuries, a dedicated attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could work to guide you through the legal system and help to file a claim for compensation.
Call a Lawyer to Discuss Michigan Bicycle Safety Tips
Before riding a bicycle or allowing your children to do so, it might be beneficial to understand Michigan bicycle safety tips and how to best proceed. Because of the potentially severe injuries that might result from an accident, understanding the safest ways to avoid crashes and injuries is crucial.
However, if a cycling accident has already occurred, the attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. are here to help. No matter the circumstances, a dedicated lawyer could explain your rights and options.
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