February 17, 2014
As a bicyclist, it’s very important for you to educate yourself about the basic rules of the road, and traffic safety laws. Many bicyclists are surprised to find that they are subjected to the same traffic rules as everybody else. In other words, if you are involved in an accident due to your own negligence or your violation of traffic rules, you could be held partly responsible for your own injuries.
Many bicycle accidents occur at intersections, and there are several reasons for this. Very often, motorists approaching an intersection are not expecting to find a bicyclist on the road. This is not just because many motorists don’t bother to look out for bicyclists, but also because the bicyclist may not be easily visible, or because the sun is shining in the motorist’s face, reducing visibility, and so on. Bicyclists have a narrow frame, and tend to blend into the scenery.
None of that means that motorists get a free pass, and can get away with failing to look out for bicyclists. However, it does mean that a bicyclist needs to be much more careful when he’s approaching an intersection to avoid an accident. Remember, a bicycle accident, especially one that involves a rash driver at an intersection and a bicyclist, can have serious consequences for the bicyclist.
You can reduce your risk of being involved in an accident at an intersection, by increasing your visibility. That means wearing clothing that is designed and brightly-colored so that it stands out in traffic, making it easier for motorists to spot you. Wear reflective clothing, stick reflective tape on your bicycles and accessories like your bag, and wear neon-colored helmets as well.
While motorists are required to look out for a bicyclist, it is also just as important for bicyclists to look out for cars at intersections.