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How to Avoid a Cycling Accident

Bicycling is a popular way to spend an afternoon or a day in Hollywood and across South Florida. It’s great exercise, a family-friendly activity, and a fun solo excursion, too. Bicycling lets us enjoy the sights, fresh air, sunshine, and natural beauty Florida is famous for and even allows us to head to spaces where cars are not allowed.

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It’s no wonder this form of activity is so popular.

While Florida residents love their bicycles, however, collisions involving bikes are a serious concern. In the past, Florida has been ranked as among the states with the highest numbers of bicycle crashes. Although changes are being made to prevent this in the future, there are things you will want to do now to prevent bicycle crashes in Hollywood and other communities where you bike:

1) Make sure your bike fits your body. A bike that is too big or too small will be harder to control and you may end up in an intersection accident or other crash. Many bicycles are adjustable, and you will want to use this feature for the safest and most comfortable ride. Many bike shops are willing to work with customers to ensure a proper fit.

2) Ride defensively. Ride the way you drive your car: by thinking a few moves ahead. This helps prepare you for upcoming maneuvers and keeps your mind on safety.

3) Make yourself as visible as possible. Wear reflective clothing and use a light at night and in dim conditions. Wear bright clothing.

4) Don’t assume other users of the road can see you. Even when you do everything possible to stay visible, motorists may be distracted or just not looking for bicyclists the way they should. Even if you’re sure you’re visible, proceed carefully.

5) Communicate with drivers. Make eye contact and use hand signaling  to indicate turns. When drivers can see you and know where you are going, you are less likely to be in a crash.

6) Make sure your clothing and shoelaces are not loose. Loose clothing and drawstrings or laces can get caught in the gears of your bike, pulling you to the ground and making you lose control.

7) Build up your bike skills gradually. If you haven’t been on a bike in some time, start by heading to dedicated bicycling trails and areas with no cars, where you can practice in a safer setting. Work on your bicycles skills before you start sharing the road and bicycling on a street with cars and trucks.

8) Check your physical level before biking. Are you physically able to peddle safely? Can you react promptly? Never bicycle if you have been injured and are still limited in mobility. Wait until you get a clear bill of health from your doctor. Similarly, don’t bicycle if you are under the influence, unwell, upset, distracted, or otherwise unable to focus on safety.

Of course, every time you hop in a bike you will need to wear a helmet. It won’t prevent a bicycle accident but if you ever do find yourself in an accident, a properly fitted and properly worn helmet can significantly reduce your risk of fatal injury and brain injury.

Have you been injured while bicycling due to someone’s negligence? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to review your options for compensation. A Hollywood bicycle accident attorney on our team would be happy to talk to you. Our offices in Miami, Homestead, Hollywood have been helping plaintiffs across South Florida for years.