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Bicycle Safety Tips for the Summer

By Lependorf & Silverstein on June 3, 2014

The summer is the perfect time to dust off your bike and hit the roadway. Biking is a fun and healthy activity, but it is often dangerous in New Jersey. It is possible to sustain serious injuries or even fatal injuries. To increase your chances of staying safe, please remember these important safety tips:

  • Wear a helmet. Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-10.1, all riders under 17 years of age are required to wear a helmet while riding. However, it is in the best interest of New Jersey riders of all ages to wear a properly fitted, Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet. Helmets cannot prevent all head injuries, but they significantly reduce the degree of head trauma suffered in a crash.
  • Make sure you bike is the right size. When you stand over your bike, there should be space between you and the crossbar. Your handlebars should be the same height as the seat and your knees should be able to fully extend as you pedal.
  • Choose your roads carefully. Congested, busy New Jersey roadways that do not have wide shoulders or bike lanes are not particularly safe for bike riders. If you haven’t traveled by bike on the road for a while, try to choose roads that have separate bike lanes. You may even want to stick to bike trails that are off the roadway where you won’t have to worry about traffic.
  • Obey all traffic rules and regulations. Bicyclists must obey the same rules of the road as other drivers. Riding in an unpredictable manner will only increase your chances of being struck by another vehicle.
  • Increase your visibility: Many bike accidents occur because bikes are easy to over look. You can reduce your chances of being hit by wearing bright clothing, installing a headlamp on the front of your bike, placing reflectors on your seat and pedals, and by putting reflective tape on your helmet, jacket, and bag. It is also advisable to install a horn or bell to notify drivers when you are near.
  • Ride with traffic: When on a bike, you have the right to travel on the road, but it is not advisable to ride right in the middle of the lane. Try to stay as far to the right as possible without putting yourself in danger of hazardous shoulders and parked cars.

Of course, even if you practice all of these safe riding tips, you can still get hurt by a speeding, distracted, or careless driver. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, please contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about your legal rights and options.

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