Safety tips for bicyclists during COVID-19

Portland bicycle accident attorney

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the health and financial well-being of Portland residents. We are all currently unsure if what we once considered normal will ever return.

One thing that has come out of this pandemic is a rise in bicyclists. According to Bloomberg, more Americans are purchasing bicycles now than ever. This rise in bicycle sales may be happening for these reasons:

  • People are turning to cycling while gyms and fitness clubs are closed.
  • Children are out of school until September and will likely not partake in extracurricular activities any time soon.
  • Commuters may want to avoid crowded buses and train stations.

Safety first

While it’s great to see more people getting around by bicycle, it’s important that safety precautions are taken when sharing the road with cars and trucks.

AAA has offered some tips on how bicyclists can avoid being injured. These include:

  • The basic safety precautions: Bicyclists are vulnerable on the road. Unlike motorists, they are not protected by seatbelts and airbags. Moreover, drivers don’t always see or acknowledge bicyclists. These safety precautions can significantly reduce your chances of being involved in a crash:
    • Be aware of your surroundings
    • Make yourself visible by wearing bright clothing (wear reflective devices at night)
    • Stay in a single file with other bicyclists
    • Never ride against traffic. Stay on the right side of the road and ride in the direction of traffic.
    • Avoid areas with heavy traffic unless you have a protected bike lane.
  • The use of hand signals: Hand signals work the same way as turn signals in cars. They tell other road users which direction you intend to travel. The NHTSA offers some information on how hand signals work for bicyclists:
    • Turning left: Extend your left arm and hand out.
    • Turning right: Either bend your left arm into an L shape or extend your right arm and hand out.
    • Slowing down or stopping: Bend or your left or right arm in an L shape with your hand pointing downward.
  • Awareness of roadway hazards: Be sure to watch out for potholes, large cracks, debris in the road, downed tree branches, large puddles, slick surfaces, and uneven surfaces.

What if I get in a bicycle crash?

A bicycle crash can happen in an instant and can result in serious injuries including broken bones, traumatic brain injury, as well as cuts, bruises, and contusions. If the reckless actions of a driver caused your injuries, it’s critical that you get compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Don’t count on the driver’s insurance company to pay you in full, however. In order to ensure that an accurate value is placed on your claim, you need an experienced Portland bicycle crash¬†attorney on your side.

Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys At Law can negotiate with the insurance companies to do the right thing and compensate you to the fullest extent. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact us online or call our Portland office at (503) 287-5000.

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