Cycling On Sarasota's Roads Is Dangerous - Tips For A Safe Bike Ride
There are few better ways to enjoy a beautiful day in Sarasota than hopping onto your bike. With renowned trails and coastal rides, there’s a way to enjoy the city for cyclists of any skill or experience level. What every rider has in common, however, is a desire to get home safe after a great day of riding.
Bicycle Accidents In Florida
As of 2022, Florida led the nation in bicycle accidents. 2021 saw more than 6,600 bicycle crashes, resulting in more than 180 bicycle fatalities. Leading Florida in bicycle accidents are Hillsborough and nearby Pinellas counties, with more bicycle accidents occurring on the west coast of Florida than elsewhere in the state.
How Cyclists Can Keep Themselves Safe
While reckless driving may be an unavoidable factor in some bicycle accidents, there are things that cyclists can do to keep themselves safer before they take to area roads or trails. Tips for staying safe before a Sarasota area ride are:
• Get your bike prepared – Getting your bike ready should always be your first step before taking a ride. Make sure the seat is adjusted to the right height by standing over it and reaching the pedals. Tires should be safely inflated but not over-inflated to ensure a smooth and controlled ride. All parts of the bicycle should be thoroughly checked including the brakes, pedals, seat, and handlebars. Riders should also make sure all reflectors are securely attached and functioning. If you plan to ride after dark, or you suspect your ride will take you until after dark, make sure your bike is outfitted with a blinking safety light to maximize your visibility.
• Plan your attire – One major cause of bicycle accidents is motorists failing to see riders as they cross intersections or ride along the road. Wearing bright colored clothing helps to make you more visible whether you’re riding at night or during the day. Along with your highly visible attire, outfit yourself with a sturdy and certified helmet and safe footwear for your ride.
• Plan your ride – Planning your ride can help you to avoid dangerous roadways or intersections around Sarasota. If you’re taking one of the designated biking trails in the area, you may not have to plan much at all. If you’re taking a ride around town, map out the safest routes with the lowest amount of traffic. Bicycle accidents happen most frequently at night, so make sure your route is highly visible if you plan to ride after dusk.
• Familiarize yourself with the rules of the road – Florida observes 8 different categories of bicycle laws. Familiarize yourself with local rules of the road and make sure you’re approaching your ride safely.
• Practice defensive riding and have a safe, fun, and enjoyable adventure – Defensive driving isn’t just something one should practice when they get behind the wheel of a car. Bicyclists should always ride defensively, assume vehicles in traffic cannot see them clearly, use hand signals, give vehicles the right of way, and stay focused on the task at hand – safe cycling. Smartphones should only be used when stopped safely, earbuds or headphones should not be used while riding, and alert any pedestrians who may be walking along your path.
Have You Been In A Bicycle Accident In Sarasota?
Ending your ride with an accident is something that no cyclist wants to face. If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in Sarasota, there is support. Contact us at JusticePays.com today to see how our professional bicycle accident attorneys can help you navigate the compensation process should an injury occur.