Too many bicycle accidents happen in this city. Riding a bicycle is a convenient method of transportation—cheap, fast, and carbon-neutral. Unfortunately, bicyclists are exposed to all sorts of dangers. Every week we read stories of cyclists injured or even killed in bicycle accidents. It’s enough to make even a committed cyclist question whether they would be better off driving.
To protect the safety of cyclists, everyone must do their part. At DC Law, we stand with the bicycling community and are here if you are ever injured in an accident. Below, we provide the best tips for avoiding a bicycle crash in Austin.
Tips for Motorists to Avoid Accidents
Motorists and bicyclists always point the finger at each other when it comes to dishing out blame for accidents. In truth, both groups need to commit to safety if we are ever to reduce bicycle accidents in Austin.
Motorists should remember the following:
- Look for bicyclists when coming to an intersection. Some distracted drivers never see a bicyclist stopped right in front of them but instead plow into the unsuspecting cyclist.
- When making a left-hand turn, check for cyclists. Motorists will wait for a car to pass through the intersection but then assume that nothing is behind the final car. A bicyclist might be coming.
- Yield to bicyclists. The rules of the road require that you share the road with a bicyclist as if it were a car.
- Pass carefully. Even if you are annoyed that a cyclist is blocking traffic, you must not pass to closely or pull directly in front of a bicyclist.
- When parked on the side of the road, check over your shoulder for approaching cyclists before opening the door. If you don’t, then a bicyclist could ride straight into your door and crash.
Tips for Cyclists to Reduce Accidents
Cyclists have a strong incentive to reduce accidents. After all, they get the short end of the stick in any collision because they lack protection. To that end, we recommend that cyclists remember the following the next time they head out:
- Choose a bike that fits your size. If a bike is too large, you will have trouble controlling it.
- Use hand signals to let others know what action you are about to take.
- Avoid weaving in and out of traffic, especially at intersections. You increase the chances of getting hit. You could also collide with a pedestrian, which can be fatal.
- Follow all rules of the road. If you want drivers to follow the rules, you need to be willing to do the same
- Never get on the bike when intoxicated or high. You increase your chances of making a critical error.
Cyclists should also improve their visibility. Wear a brightly colored helmet or jacket so that you stand out. A neon-colored bicycle is also helpful.
Stay Alert and Stay Safe
If we all do our part, we can reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Austin. All it takes is collective will.