There are 1,000 bicycle accidents every year in Wisconsin, which is why practicing safe bike riding is so important. We’ve compiled a list of the common causes of accidents, as well as a list to keep you safe and prepared while you’re riding your bike. Being alert and prepared is the best way to prevent accident and injury while riding your bike.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents Include:
- Car Driver Inattention: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 30% of all injuries in Car dicycle accidents happen when a bicycle is struck by a car. Drivers who are not paying attention are more likely to collide with bicyclists.
- Failure to Yield: When a car driver fails to yield to a bicyclist in a bike lane or crosswalk, accidents are more likely to occur.
- Bicycle Rider Inattention: Riders need to make sure that they are using caution while riding and sharing the road with other vehicles. Riders who are distracted are more likely to be injured. For instance, some bicyclists use cell phone devices to text while riding, or ride wearing headphones to listen to music.
- Dangerous Road Conditions: According to the NHTSA, 13% of all injury-causing bicycle accidents are caused by roads that are not in good repair.
- Nighttime: More than half of all bicycle accidents happen when it is dark outside. Bicyclists need to make sure they are wearing reflective gear and have required lights on when traveling at night. Motorists need to be extra vigilant at night as well.
Be Prepared Before You Ride:
- Ride a bike that fits you. To learn more about how to find a bicycle that fits you, read this article!
- Ride a bike that works – including brakes and shifters.
- Wear equipment to protect yourself
- Helmet (and make sure it fits)
- Reflective gear
- Bright clothing
- Ride one person per seat.
- Use proper hand signals.
- Carry items in a backpack or strapped to a bike rack.
- Make sure your shoelaces are tied and your pant legs are tucked in.
- Plan your route
- Choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds.
- Be focused and pay attention.
- Try to anticipate what others may do. Practice defensive riding.
- Obey traffic signs.
- Drive with traffic.
- Don’t text, listen to music or use anything else that might distract you.
We’ve included a print-off of our Bike safety checklist so you and your family can be ride safely: Bike Safety Tips Print Off