Bicycle and auto accidents occur quite frequently, and sometimes they have catastrophic results. While there are rules of the road to try to combat such events, it is still up to those on the road to implement them.
While cyclists cannot control the actions of others, implementing certain tactics might help to decrease their risk. In fact, understanding and implementing the proper steps to share the road may help to avoid accidents.
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles provides the FFDL 37, which details safety tips for sharing the road. It details several ways that cyclists can increase their safety, in regard to protecting themselves with the proper equipment, as well as tips and proper actions while on the road.
There are four main tips that the FFDL 37 details:
- Maintain control
- Protect yourself
- Remain alert and visible
- Ride in a safe lane position
The first two tips focus primarily on biking equipment. Cyclists should make sure that the bicycle is a proper size and that it functions properly. They should also make sure that they wear the proper equipment, including helmets and reflective gear, especially if cycling at night.
The last two tips focus on actual techniques to use while biking. Though cyclists must follow the same laws and regulations as motorists, cyclists do have the right of way in certain situations, such as utilizing crosswalks and biking lanes. However, exercising that right may not be the wisest option in certain situations. Also, there are certain instances where cyclists do not have special privileges, and not recognizing this fact can be detrimental. At the end of the day, cyclists should strive to keep biking safety at the forefront of their minds.
Vigilance is key, and sometimes overcompensating for others can help to keep both parties safe. However, in the case of an inevitable accident, the party who can demonstrate the use of precautionary measures may have a strong case for an accident claim.