How Not to Get Hit by a Car
A lot of my practice involves car-on-bike collisions that results in serious injuries. A bike has no chance against a motor vehicle, and many drivers don’t look out for cyclists. When you ride on shared roads, you can only trust your judgment and cannot rely on vehicles to stop, avoid, or even see you. While it may seem like common sense, sometimes it is important to remember to review the basics before going for a ride.
- Your Invisible – You should never assume that a driver of a car sees you. This is particularly true at intersections. Even if you are sure that someone sees you, and you have the right-of-way, have your hands on the bike and anticipate the driver pulling out. Just pretend you are invisible. And try to make yourself as visible as possible.
- Use Big Strong Bright Lights: The need for both front lights and tail lights is obvious at night, but they are a good idea during the day. Buy the brightest lights you can. The more lumens the better. Lights help you to see others, and even more importantly, to be seen by others.
- Wear bright clothing – When you are going out for a ride, particularly in the dark, you should wear bright or reflective clothing.
- Follow the rules of the road – Ride your bike like you would drive your car. Use hand signals that indicate when you are turning, don’t run red lights or stop signs, and heed all traffic laws.
- If need be, take the entire lane: As a cyclist, you should ride “as near as practicable to the right curb”. However, if the road is too narrow or the far right road surface is dodgy, you can take the full lane. Tex. Trans. Code §551.103. You should do this so that a driver behind you won’t try to pass you and end up clipping you with the rearview mirror.
- Wear a Rearview Mirror – Would you drive a car without rearview mirrors? Of course not! Well then, why would you ride a bike without one? Yes, a rearview mirror is dorky and you lose fashion points for wearing one, but they make it very easy to know what’s coming up behind you. Whatever it is, it is a lot bigger and faster than you.
- Ride in Groups: It’s easy for a driver to say that he did not see a solo cyclist, but not when there is a group of 10. The more, the merrier, and the safer you will be.
By following these steps, you are less likely to be hit by a car. If you have already been injured while riding your bike, call me, Bill Shirer, immediately. I can help you recover compensation for your damages. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.