If you enjoy riding your bicycle, just the same as many in and around Austin, it's imperative that your safety always comes first. While you may be sure of the things you can do to protect yourself, don't forget that drivers don't always take as much caution.
There are things you can do as a bicyclist to prevent an accident with a motor vehicle, including the following:
- Make eye contact: Don't assume that drivers will know what you're thinking. Don't assume they will take extreme caution as a means of keeping you safe. When you make eye contact and use hand signals, you'll feel better about sharing the road.
- Watch for doors: It's so easy to focus all your attention on moving vehicles that you overlook those that are parked. If a door swings open into your path, you may not have enough time to react. This can result in a fast paced head-on crash.
- Right turns put you at risk: When a driver makes a right turn, they may not see you traveling on your bike. Depending on your proximity to one another, this can result in a serious accident. As you approach intersections, always look over your left shoulder for a vehicle that may be turning right.
- Take advantage of bicycle lanes: If you have access to a bicycle lane you should spend most your time riding here. There may be times when you have no choice but to consider other options, such as riding in traffic with motor vehicles, but the bike lane is where you really want to be.
Even if you follow these tips you could still be part of a bicycle-car accident. Do these things immediately:
- Stay where you are and check yourself for injuries
- Call 911 for help or ask a witness to do so for you
- Receive medical treatment and follow the direction of your medical team
- Contact your insurance company to determine if you have coverage
- Don't let the negligent party off the hook
You may soon find that the person who hit you was distracted by a cellphone, driving under the influence or too drowsy to be on the road. Learn more about holding them accountable for their actions.