With the first day of Spring come and gone, and with temperatures warming across Indiana and Kentucky, your mind may be drifting toward shaking the cobwebs off your bicycle and getting back in the biker's seat. To prevent bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles, please consider the following tips and pointers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
As a motorist, do your part to prevent accidents with bicycles:
- Especially important when turning, yield the right of way to bicyclists just as you would if they were in a motor vehicle.
- Be aware of your surroundings, and be especially cautious in parking lots, at stop signs, when reversing, and when parallel parking on the road.
- Check to the right and the rear of your vehicle before making a right on red. Bicyclists may be approaching from the right rear as you are turning right.
As a bicyclist, some of the ways you can prevent an accident and catastrophic injuries are:
- Bike predictably. Do not turn or swerve suddenly into a vehicle's path. Ride in a straight line and look over your shoulder before maneuvering into another lane or turning.
- Obey stop signs and lights. As a bicyclist in the road, you must obey the same laws as motorists.
- Ride with traffic, not against it. Although you may feel safer when you are approaching a motorist head-on, this against-flow travel is actually quite dangerous because motorists do not expect to see someone approaching from the wrong direction, and it makes it difficult for the motorist to predict your behavior if you aren't acting like a car.
These NHTSA tips will hopefully help you and your loved ones stay safe while enjoying the beautiful biking opportunities in Louisville, Jeffersonville and all the surrounding areas.