For many California residents, cycling is an effective way to exercise, a productive mode of transportation, and an excellent way to spend some leisure time. However, its benefits are accompanied by inherent risks including motorist negligence and distraction or even a cyclist's own unpreparedness. While significant emphasis is focused on helping drivers to be mindful of cyclists, bicycle riders also have a responsibility to be properly prepared.
Bicycle accidents are very common and in many situations, result in serious injury or even death of the rider. Even with the help of bike lanes, bike signals and legislature passed to protect cyclists, accidents can still happen. In fact, as recently as January 2017, Fox40 News reported an accident involving a cyclist and motorists that occurred on Laguna Boulevard during the morning commute. In this tragic story, the cyclist was killed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cyclists are more likely than motorists to suffer from crash-related injuries or death. Because people who choose to ride a bicycle are exposed to increased risk, it is imperative that they take precautions to protect themselves and have a safe riding experience. With the proper gear and vigilant attention to his or her surroundings, a cyclist has an increased chance of avoiding accidents. For example, cyclists can:
- Wear a helmet
- Invest in clothing that is protective and reflective
- Perform routine maintenance and safety checks on all biking equipment
- Always use reflective bicycle lighting for added visibility
- Map a route for familiarization
- Try to avoid busy thoroughfares and intersections
When they are attentive, prepared and properly equipped, bicyclists can adequately protect against the serious injury or death that often results in situations where the rider was ill-prepared.