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The Most Dangerous Times and Situations to Ride Your Bike

May 17th, 2022

May is National Bike Month—appropriately so because this is the time of year when many of us begin taking advantage of the warmer weather. It presents the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of bicycle safety. While riding a bike can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous when you’re not careful. The CDC estimates about 350,000 bicycle injuries occurred in 2020 alone! Let’s discuss some of the most dangerous times and situations to ride your bike and how you can stay safer.

Riding at Night

Riding a bike at night can be dangerous because, first of all, drivers may have difficulty seeing you, and second, you may have your own difficulty seeing potential hazards on the road. Nearly one-third of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles happen between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am. To reduce your risk, wear bright and reflective clothing, add reflectors and a front light to your bike and ride in well-lit areas whenever possible.

Riding in the Rain

Inclement weather poses many dangers to bicyclists. Not only is it more difficult for drivers to see you in the rain, but the ambient light makes reflective clothing less effective in making your presence known. Wet roads are also slippery, making it easy to lose your balance—plus, the rain itself can affect your ability to see because you don’t have the benefit of a windshield. There’s little you can do to be safer when riding in the rain, so the best advice is to avoid rainy conditions if possible.

Riding in Heavy Traffic or at Rush Hour

On busy roads and during heavy traffic times, drivers are less likely to notice bicyclists on the roads and may become careless in their hurry to get to or from their destinations. To reduce your risks in these conditions, wear bright clothing to be more visible and be sure to use hand signals when turning or changing lanes. Assume the drivers don’t see you and be prepared to take evasive action when necessary. Whenever possible, use designated bike lanes as drivers are more likely to see you and avoid you in these lanes.

Riding Next to Parked Cars

When riding next to parked cars, you’re at risk of being “doored”—that is, a driver or passenger in a parked car may open their door into your path without looking first. This can cause you to swerve suddenly or even crash. To avoid this hazard, ride at least four feet away from parked cars whenever possible, and look several cars ahead to notice whether drivers are sitting in their cars.

Sometimes, bicycle injuries can occur due to circumstances beyond your control. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s fault or negligence, our skilled personal injury attorneys can help. Call our law office today for a free consultation.