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5 Tips For Minimizing Cyclist Accident Injuries

For many people, riding a bike is the dream mode of transportation. Bicyclists get to exercise and they don't have to pay for gas. What's not to love?

Unfortunately, bicyclists who are in a car accident have a high chance of becoming seriously injured. In many of these accidents, the driver was at fault and the bicyclist followed all laws. Bicyclists can use these defensive cycling tips to prevent more accidents.

Five defensive cycling tips

Here are a few ways you can improve your safety when cycling:

  1. Use proper safety equipment: There is a debate in the cycling world about the effectiveness of helmets. Some cycling enthusiast claim that a helmet does not reduce the chances of a serious accident. and that cars may drive closer to cyclists who wear helmets. Even with these potential risk factors, there is evidence that a helmet can prevent many types of serious head injuries. Hawaii law ยง291C-150 requires cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet.
  2. Have a bike light: A front-facing bike light increases visibility for both cyclists and cars. Hawaii requires cyclists to have a light mounted to the front of their bicycle that is visible from at least 500 feet. Cyclists must also mount a red reflector to the back of their bicycle.
  3. Practice proper bike maintenance: Bicyclists who can count on their brakes may be able to avoid potential collisions with a car. Before taking your bicycle for a ride, make sure to check your brakes and tire air pressure.
  4. Ride with traffic: Riding with traffic allows cars to see bicyclists and avoid collisions. Riding with traffic can also prevent cars from turning into an unexpected cyclist.
  5. Ride to the left of potential open doors: Bike lanes that run up against parking spots put bicyclists at risk for a car door collision, often called "dooring." Bicyclists can give themselves some extra room when riding next to parked cars to get out of the way of an open door.

Car and bicycle collisions are still common

Cars can still hit cyclists who use every safety tip. Some key reasons for collisions include a driver's inattentiveness, impairment and unsafe speed. While Hawaii is making progress in creating better bicycle infrastructure, injuries and fatalities are still common.

If you a car hits you, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Brain and spinal injuries may not be immediately obvious and getting prompt treatment is key. Injured bicyclist should also consider having a personal injury attorney review their accident. An attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries and time spent out of work.

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