Orange County, with its scenic routes and favorable weather, is a great part of California for enjoying a bike ride. Some area residents may even rely on their bicycles as a primary mode of daily transportation. Of course, not all of Orange County includes bike trails or even specific bike lanes. This means that in many situations, bikers must share roadways with motor vehicles.
Because a bicycle offers so little safety for the rider, bicycle accidents with a motor vehicle can result in devastating injuries or even death for the rider. Accordingly, safety is imperative for anyone who is riding a bicycle on or near a roadway with motor vehicle traffic. In addition, riders should always be looking for ways to improve their safety. So what can bikers do to be safer?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has numerous suggestions for bicycle safety. In a campaign that it calls “Be a Roll Model,” the NHTSA lays out some tips for promoting bicycle safety. At the top of the list is maintaining focus; bicyclists should not ride while they are talking on the phone, texting or doing anything else that might distract them from riding safely.
Another important safety tip is for bikers to always be prepared and to anticipate riding obstacles that would ordinarily be unexpected. Likewise, riders should always follow the rules of the road. Like operators of any other vehicle on the road, bicyclists are entitled to certain rights, but that also comes with the same responsibilities of motorized traffic. In addition, bikers should always be cognizant of motor vehicles and share the road appropriately.
All of these NHTSA safety tips not only apply to bicyclists, but also to drivers in motor vehicles. In too many incidents, bicycle accidents are caused by a negligent driver who fails to look out for the safety of a biker. Both riders and drivers are responsible for ensuring the safety of each other and helping to avoid bike accidents.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Being a Roll Model,” Accessed on Oct. 10, 2014