New research has found that larger vehicles, such as SUVs, vans, pickup trucks, and minivans are more likely to strike cyclists than smaller vehicles such as passenger cars. This is particularly true when large vehicles are turning, an act that sees risks for bicycle accidents increase as much as 4x over. Knowing that larger vehicles pose a more significant threat allows cyclists to respond accordingly. When you are riding around an SUV, pickup truck, or van, be aware that they may not be able to see you, even if you are directly next to them, and bike defensively to help protect yourself from injury.
What is Defensive Cycling?
Defensive cycling, like defensive driving, means paying attention to your surroundings. Remaining aware of what is happening around you allows you to respond to unexpected shifts in traffic or erratic maneuvering from specific vehicles. This simple act can help to prevent you from being involved in an accident, but it requires vigilance.
Defensive cycling means not wearing headphones, avoiding handheld technologies like a cellphone, and keeping your eyes, ears, and attention on the road at all times. In addition to these steps, it is important that cyclists:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals
- Follow the flow of traffic
- Remain visible (reflective clothing, lights on the cycle, etc.)
- Wear a helmet
All bicycle riders under the age of 16 must wear a helmet in Florida. Riders of all ages should wear a bicycle helmet. Helmet use reduces risks for traumatic brain injury (TBI) by as much as 70%. TBI is a leading cause of death among children and young adults. When not fatal, it can result in permanent damage to the brain and significantly reduce both physical and mental abilities for a lifetime.
Have You Been Injured?
Even defensive cyclists can get injured when the driver of a larger vehicle isn’t paying attention. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a bicycle accident, give us a call at 833-546-3675 to schedule a free case review today. Kelleher Law maintains offices in Naples and Ft. Myers, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia.