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Cycling Visibility – Ways to Make Yourself Seen and Avoid Accidents

On Behalf of Rush Injury Law

Being visible to drivers and other cyclists is critical for staying safe on the roads. According to research, over a third of bicycle accidents occur due to low visibility and drivers not seeing the cyclists. As a cyclist, there are several effective ways you can make yourself more noticeable to avoid such accidents.

Wear Bright and Reflective Clothing

The clothing you wear while cycling can drastically affect your visibility. Opt for bright neon, yellow or orange shirts and jackets that stand out. These brighter colors catch people’s eyes much faster. Also, ensure your clothing has reflective strips and piping, so you’re visible even in low lights. Reflective ankle and knee straps additionally highlight your pedal movement to drivers.

Use Bike Lights

Having white front and red rear lights on your bike is mandated by law. But consider using ultra-bright LED lights for maximum impact. Flashing lights that blink on and off are scientifically proven to attract greater attention. Ensure batteries are always charged. Daytime running lights also aid visibility.

Attach Reflectors

Reflectors positioned on your spokes, frame and wheels reflect light strongly. Drivers can spot these reflections from farther distances. Upgrade standard reflectors to spoke reflectors that rotate to catch attention. Other effective reflectors are safety tapes and patterns placed on the frame and helmet.

Maintain Eye Contact

While reflectors work to catch drivers’ attention, making eye contact confirms they’ve seen you. So, look ahead at intersections and make deliberate eye contact with motorists and cyclists. Don’t assume they will look your way or have seen you already. This helps avoid many accidental collisions.

Stay Predictable

Biking in straight lines and indicating turns maintains predictability so drivers can accurately judge your movements. Lane positioning is also key – ride closer to the curb and parked cars to have an escape route from main traffic. Being predictable essentially makes you less invisible to traffic.

Use Audible Signals

Having a bell, horn or buzzer on your bike helps warn pedestrians and other cyclists audibly. Sound signals make people aware of you without having to shout. They are very useful when passing walkways and parks where people may not be looking your way.

Get a Rear-View Mirror

Attaching a bike mirror allows you to look back and check for approaching vehicles. Rear-view mirrors provide additional visibility of traffic from behind so you can take evasive action if required. Having eyes in the back of your head goes a long way in keeping safe.

The above visibility aids and practices will enable other commuters to spot you from a safe braking distance. Stay alert and keep checking for eye contact. Making yourself conspicuous is the best way for accident prevention as a cyclist sharing the road.

What Happens If You Have an Accident While Cycling?

If you unfortunately do meet with an accident while cycling, immediately call emergency services if you are injured. Move to a safe location out of oncoming traffic. Note down details of the incident, location, vehicles, and people involved for insurance purposes later. Report the accident to traffic authorities as well within 24 hours. Stay calm until help arrives.

Once you are safe, call one of our bicycle injury lawyers for advice. You can visit one of our offices at the following locations:

  • 10 Commercial Blvd, #206 Novato, CA 94949
  • 75 Broadway #202, San Francisco, CA 94111
  • 3558 Round Barn Blvd, Suite 200, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Call us today for a free consultation on (415) 897-4801.

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