Many people assume that all responsible bicyclists always wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet and reflective or bright clothing. While multiple studies have noted that safety gear does not reduce the chance of being struck by a vehicle, wearing a helmet does reduce the potential for a traumatic brain injury.
Study after study proves that helmets are undoubtedly an essential tool for safety-minded cyclists. However, there’s a chance that wearing a helmet or reflective gear might actually put a cyclist at higher risk of an accident.
Drivers may assume too much
A study performed by a psychological scientist at the University of Bath in England found that wearing high-visibility clothing might do more harm than good in helping cyclists remain safe on the road. Additionally, a different study completed by the same scientist found that some drivers are more likely to get dangerously close to cyclists if the cyclists are wearing helmets. Drivers may view the presence of a helmet as a sign of an experienced bicyclist and assume that they can drive closely without risking an accident.
Drivers who get too close to bicyclists when they’re trying to overtake them can put bicyclists at a great risk. A fast-moving vehicle positioned close to a cyclist on the road can create strong wind shear forces, pushing the cyclist and causing them to lose control. When fighting wind shear, it can be extremely difficult for even experienced cyclists to keep their bicycles upright.
Victims of bicycle accidents that are caused by a vehicle trying to overtake the bicycle or other negligent and reckless behavior by a driver may choose to seek compensation. Working with a bicycle attorney can help injured victims cover the costs of their medical care and other expenses that are directly related to their crash.