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In nearly every state, bicycles are considered vehicles, just like cars, trucks, and motorcycles. This classification means that bike riders must follow the same rules as anyone else on the road. While drivers and cyclic must follow the same rules, they do not carry the same risks. If you are a cyclist in the Austin area, you want to be sure to be prepared in case the worst happens. Being prepared means not only knowing how to avoid accidents with other vehicles, but what to do after. It starts with hiring the best bike accident attorney you can find.
Avoiding Bike Accidents
One of the riskiest areas for cyclists on the road is at intersections. Drivers of cars rarely can tell how fast someone on a bike is traveling. Since drivers don’t necessarily expect to see bicycles on the road, they aren’t always looking for bikes. Bicycles are smaller and can more easily blend into the background. As a cyclist, be aware of these dangers before heading out on the road.
Knowing the risks helps, but cyclists also need to take other precautions, such as the following, to avoid being invisible to other drivers:
- Increase your visibility – Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing and use front and rear lamps on your bike.
- Learn emergency maneuvers – Take courses, read books, or watch online videos regarding defensive riding.
- Limit distractions – It might be fun to wear headphones while on a ride but limit anything that distracts you from being entirely on the lookout.
- Safety gear – It may not look as cool, but helmets protect your most valuable asset. Don’t skip necessary safety gear as it may save your life.
What to do after an accident with a car
An automobile accident with a cyclist is one of the scariest things to be a part of or to witness. Auto accidents are bad enough, but bike riders are at higher risk for injury or death. If you see or are part of one of these accidents, here are some things you should do:
- Attend to injuries. Make sure to call 911 and that medical help is provided. While the bicyclist is at higher risk, make sure to also attend to the automobile driver as well. If you are part of the accident, seek medical attention first. It is also vital that all parties move safely off of the road, if possible. Moving to a safe location prevents the potential for further accidents.
- Wait for the police to arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. More importantly, you want to be able to provide an accurate account of what happened.
- Document the events. Take pictures of any damage or injuries that occur.
- Collect contact information. Assuming that no one is rushed off to the hospital, gather contact and insurance information. It’s also essential to get contact information from any witness of the accident.
- Get help. Collisions between cars and bikes are complex. You will want to consult a personal injury attorney to help navigate the process moving forward.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, call or email us today for a free consultation on your case.