Tips for Bicycle Safety

Spring is just around the corner, and despite the immense amount of rain we’ve experienced lately, outdoor activities are a short time away.  Marietta, Kennesaw, and surrounding areas of Cobb County have some of the best hiking, biking and sporting opportunities around.  But those activities come along with things to be on the lookout for to ensure safety.

Specifically, bicyclist in the Cobb County area should use caution when operating near busy roadways.  Biking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and brings health benefits, and has become a popular pastime for locals.  When mixed with the busy streets and interstates of Cobb County, it can be challenging.  The rise of bicycling has led to an increase in accidents, so here are a few things to keep in mind before pulling out the Schwinn this year.

  • ALWAYS wear a helmet.  While it’s not a law for Georgians over 16 years of age to wear helmets while biking, it should be second nature to wear a helmet anytime you ride a bike.  More than 90% of bicycle riders killed in accidents annually were not wearing helmets, and there have been countless situations in which a helmet has been the differences between life and death.  These stats support the importance of helmets, no matter the situation.
  • Understand roadway laws and bicycle hand signals.  Bicyclists must obey the same rules as motorized vehicles when traveling near roadways, and should pay special attention to other drivers.  Bicycles obviously travel at a much slower speed than the flow of traffic and should always be mindful of their surroundings because of that.  Blinkers are not available to alert drivers when cyclists are making turns, so it’s important for bicycle riders to use the correct hand signals.  These serve as an alert to other drivers and help keep everyone safe.
  • Use bike lanes.  If possible, always use a bike lane.  Cobb County roadways are being outfitted with bike lanes more and more nowadays, and for good reason.  These lanes allow for cyclists to remain out of the flow of busy traffic, and should always be utilized by bikers.
  • Wear clothing that promotes high visibility.  Motorists may have a hard time seeing cyclists because of how small they are and how slowly they travel in comparison to motor vehicles.  For this reason, it’s important for bicycle riders to wear reflective, bright clothing so that visibility is increased.   When riding on roadways, a bicycle should also have head and tail lamps installed.
  • Ride on the right side of the road.  Bicyclists should ride on the right side of the road, and never against the flow of traffic.  This helps to avoid serious head-on collisions.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and limitations.  It’s safer when cycling to be familiar with the area you are traveling in.  This is especially true in congested areas with other motorists and pedestrians nearby.  Distracted driving will continue to be an issue on Georgia roadways, so cyclists must exercise extra caution to prevent being involved in a distracted driving accident.  So as a bicycle rider, understanding your surroundings and knowing your limitations can increase safety.

Bicycles are a great way to enjoy the outdoors. But because bicycle riders are extremely exposed, it’s important to keep these tips in mind as you’re biking.  If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident caused by another driver, please contact Jones & Swanson at 770-427-5498 for a free case evaluation.