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With the hundreds of car accident that take place every day, a substantial portion of these involve pedestrians and bikers who have no way to protect themselves against cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers many suggestions for bikers to keep them safe on hazardous roads.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice is to pay attention at all times. Take note of anything that could cause you to lose control of your bike, such as a pothole or a pile of wet leaves. Your sense of hearing is important as well, and you should not wear headphones while riding your bike so that you may hear traffic and any dangerous situations.
The NHTSA recognizes that a bicycle is in fact a vehicle, which makes you a driver. Because of this, you must obey all traffic signals, signs, and lanes. You must also travel on the right side in the same direction as other vehicles.
A huge factor in keeping yourself safe is being predictable when riding. Follow a straight line and do not cross in “zigzags” between cars. In order to let drivers know where you are going, use arm signals. The more predictable you are to drivers, the safer you will be.
Another note that is sometimes not considered is to pay attention to parked vehicles as well as moving ones. You want to travel far from the edge of the sidewalk so as not to be surprised by a parked vehicle opening a door or entering the road.
In regards to sidewalk riding, the NHTSA advises that all children under 10 should ride their bikes on the sidewalk, as they are not yet capable of making the necessary decisions to ride safely in the street.
Biking is a fun and healthy activity, but as many things do, it has its risks. If you have been involved in a car accident with a biker, be sure to contact an Illinois personal injury attorney to assist you and answer any questions you may have.