As a cyclist, it pays to look out for your own safety. You are the most vulnerable of all road users and will suffer the most in any crash with another vehicle.
That does not mean staying safe is your responsibility alone, however. Drivers should take extreme care to watch out for cyclists they share the road with, yet many do not.
Drivers often fail to notice cyclists
You cannot make drivers see you or take more care around you. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of a collision and to reduce the possibility of serious injury if one does happen:
- Consider wearing a helmet: New Jersey law requires those under 17 years of age to wear helmets when cycling. It is up to you if you are older, yet it could prevent a severe brain injury.
- Be predictable: If you suddenly swap lanes or pop off the curb into the flow of traffic, you are more likely to get hit. It pays to try and think like a driver. They expect vehicles to join at junctions, stop at red lights and signal before changing lanes.
- Ride with the traffic: You may see cyclists riding in the opposite direction to the traffic. Not only is this illegal, but it is dangerous.
- Be seen: Consider using your bike lights during the daytime as well as at night. Use something reflective at night and bright during the day. It could be an item of clothing, or it could be something on your bike.
Drivers and their insurers often try to blame cyclists in a collision. They accuse them of being impossible to see due to dark clothing or no lights. Or they criticize the way they were riding. If you follow the tips above, it will be simpler to challenge these notions and claim the compensation you need. Just the same, it’s often wisest to take your situation to an attorney if you want aggressive representation and protection for your interests.