With Jack Frost finally having left the building, many of us are finding ways to get outside and enjoy the spring weather — and biking or cycling is one way to do that. Here’s what you need to do to stay safe this spring and summer.
Just as you’re expected to know vehicle laws when you’re driving a car, you’re expected to know bicycling statues in your area when you’re on a bike. The laws are there to keep you and the people with whom you’re sharing the road safe, so make sure you brush up on them before you head out on the road for the first time this spring. You can read about Kansas bike laws here.
Even if you’re a beginning cyclist, you still need a few items to get started. The obvious No. 1 item is a helmet. There are plenty of style options out there today, so there’s no excuse not to find one that makes you feel cool — and more importantly keeps you safe!
You’ll also want to consider bike shorts and a jersey rather than your standard shorts and T-shirt. Cycling clothes are designed firstly for comfort and functionality, but they serve a second safety purpose, too. The less you’re worrying about your clothing, the more focused you can be on the road and what’s going on around you.
Sunglasses are another must-have when you’re biking. Without a windshield to protect you from the elements, you’ve got to have something to block out bugs, dust and debris. Look for a pair that are shatter-resistant.
In addition to the laws of the road, there’s also etiquette to consider. Keep the following guidelines in mind:
Make eye contact with other drivers so that you know they’re seeing you and they know you’re seeing them.
Be clear about what you’re going to do before you do it. That means using turn signals and learning to look over your shoulder before you change lanes.
Use bike lanes and bike-designated stop lines when available (and safe). While it’s not against the law not to use bike lanes, they are there for a reason — and that reason is to give cyclists a dedicated, safe space to ride.
Make sure your bike has a bell or a horn, and use it to signal your presence to drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.
Always give pedestrians the right of way. This is both the law and good practice. On top of that, you should always consider the safety of the pedestrian first. Bikes are quieter than cars, and some pedestrians may not be aware of your presence (especially if they are partially sighted or deaf). Use your bell, and be prepared to change your plans to accommodate them.
At Grover Law, we want you to stay safe, and the tips above will help you do so. However, you can’t always control the actions of other drivers, and if an accident does happen, we’re here to help.
We offer free case evaluation to help you determine whether or not to file a lawsuit, and if you choose to move forward, we’ll handle your case professionally, responsibly, and affordably.
If you or someone you know is involved in an accident, give us a call, or visit our website for more information.