Unfortunately, accidents don’t just happen between two vehicles. When riding a bike, California residents need to be aware of the many dangers that could lead to an accident and injuries.
As a bicyclist, it is essential for you to be informed of all potential risks so that you can avoid them and do everything possible to stay safe. Being prepared starts by knowing when to exercise more caution and understanding some common dangers you may overlook.
When to be vigilant
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that you are most at risk for an bicycle accident or injury in an urban setting than in a rural area. You also should be aware that the most dangerous time to ride a bike on the roads is between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The most common causes of injuries for bikers are falls. Wearing a helmet and other safety equipment can help you minimize injuries and even potentially save your life.
Commonly ignored risk factors
Every bicyclists knows that collisions with vehicles are a huge risk when riding a bike on the road. However, there are plenty of other ways for you to have an accident that do not involve a moving vehicle. For example, if someone in a vehicle opens the door into you, it can send you flying off of your bike and cause serious injuries.
The risks you may not think to pay attention to, however, are those that do not involve a vehicle. For instance, pedestrians can often be a risk to bicyclists. They may walk out in front of you or even directly into you when not paying attention. Runners can be even more of a risk since they are traveling much faster and have less time to react.
Dogs can be a serious problem for some bicyclists, too. They are often unpredictable and may be strong enough to knock you off of your bike. Other cyclists also pose a danger. When other riders are not paying attention or are operating their bikes recklessly, they could cause an accident.
In short, you should stay alert at all times. Do not assume that just because there are no motor vehicles around that you are out of danger and can let your guard down.