Rules To Help Avoid Personal Injury Accidents When Riding A Bicycle.

March 7, 2014

Buffalo personal injury accidents involving bicyclists are often much more serious than two car collisions because of the vulnerability of the bike rider.  While there are many steps bicyclists can take to help protect themselves from personal injury, the following actions greatly decrease the possibility of an accident.

1.  Always ride in the same direction as traffic.

Some bike riders believe it is better to ride on the shoulder of the road facing traffic so that they can see approaching vehicles.  It is actually safer, however, to ride in the same direction as traffic.  The reasons for this are:

  • You can see all the road signs when you are traveling in the same direction as the cars.  If you are traveling against traffic, you can only see the back of the signs.
  • If you are struck by a car traveling in the same direction as you, the force of the impact is less because you are already moving away from them when hit.  This reduces the likelihood of the accident resulting in death or serious personal injury.  If you are traveling against traffic, the force of the impact increases because your speed and the car’s speed are both contributing to the force in a head-on collision.
  • Drivers making turns are usually more aware of bikes going with the flow of traffic because they will have passed the slower moving bike before reaching the point where they are turning.

2.  Obey all traffic laws.

New York State requires bicyclists traveling on public highways to follow the same rules of the road as cars.  This includes not just direction of travel, but also obeying all traffic signs and signals.

3.  Yield for traffic when required.

Bikes are supposed to yield to traffic in the same situations where a car would be required to do so.  Bicyclists entering intersections and being struck by a car are a common cause of serious personal injury to bicyclists.  Bicyclists should also keep in mind that they have the same requirement as a car to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

4.  Make sure drivers know what you are doing. 

When making a turn, it is especially important for a bicyclist to look both ways and signal their turn.  Many bicyclists neglect to use hand signals or install turning signals made for bikes so that drivers know when they intend to turn left or right.

If you have been injured in a bike accident caused by another driver, we can help you.  Call us at 716-400-0000.