By Peter Fryer
With two-wheeled steed becoming popular again in most parts of the world, there is also an increased risk of becoming a victim of distracted driving. While bicycles are becoming popular, cars are still going to be the default vehicle for most people. It means that cyclists have to share the road with drivers, but they need to pay attention to certain things to be on the safe side.
The Centers for disease Control and Prevention has already found that only 1% of all trips taken in the United States are by bicycles, but those cyclists are at a higher risk of sustained crash-related injuries than those driving motor vehicles. In fact, in 2014 alone, more than 726 cyclists were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles. It means that willfully ignoring the danger of sharing the road with motorists can hurt you big time, and that is the reason why it makes sense to take some precautionary measures.
- Always have full control over your bicycle. For this, you should be opting for an appropriate sized bicycle only. Always build your stamina first and then go for long ride, as a tired cyclist is more likely to find themselves in accidents.
- Never ride your bicycle without wearing a helmet. Yes, it may not protect you from distracted drivers, but it may certainly be the difference between life and death if you end up having an accident.
- Be sure to know where you are riding and how heavy traffic is around you. Being aware of your surroundings can greatly reduce the risk of getting into a car accident. You can save yourself from a crash if you could spot a carless driver early.
- Be visible by doing whatever you can. You should have a front lamp as well as reflections to ensure that other drivers can see you. It may also help to wear brightly colored clothes or you should at least be wearing a highly visible vest. Whenever you can, be sure to make eye contact with other drivers and road users. You may even want to use your hands to signal clearly. Yelling may also help if you see a texting and distracted driver behind the wheel.
- Consider investing in a strap-on camera. You can use it as an evidence and it can help police figure exactly what happened and who was responsible for the crash.
If you can lower your risk of being hit by a car simply by taking some precautionary measures, you should certainly take them seriously. It is important not only to save your life, but also to keep you from dealing with high cost of bicyclist injury. Some studies have shown that the total cost of cyclist death and injury is well over $4 billion per year, and that is mainly because the accident can result in the lost earning potential, lost wages, and even the lost ability to function properly. Just be more careful on the road and understand that the threat of coming face-to-face with distracted drivers is real.