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Most victims remain terrified and confused when an accident occurs. A car-bicycle crash can cause long-lasting injuries, even if the cyclists were extremely cautious on the road. Whether you’re an experienced biker or you’re out enjoying an occasional weekend ride, knowing what action to take when such an incident happens makes a big difference.

Here are steps to take when you’re involved in a collision with a vehicle when riding:

Step 1: Check for Injuries

As a rider, you should first think about your safety. Even though you may be upset or confused, moving away quickly can significantly reduce the risk of subsequent accidents. Plus, you need to assess the extent of your physical harm to prevent further injuries. Remain calm and ensure there isn’t any bleeding or broken limbs until emergency responders arrive.

Step 2: Call 911

Usually, you may not feel the full impact of the crash on your body immediately after the accident. The rush of adrenalin through your veins may prevent you from feeling pain. Therefore, you should call 911 for emergency support to evaluate the extent of your injuries when the stress hormone finally wear off.

Step 3: Document potential information

Your cell phone can be a blessing in disguise when an accident occurs. Use it to gather all the necessary information, including taking videos and photos of the crash scene. Also, record the contact information and license plate number of the car that hit you. This information will provide valuable evidence at trial.

Step 4: Get medical attention

Even if your injuries aren’t apparent, they often surface many hours after the incident.  Contacting a doctor will help prevent more serious injuries and get a clean bill of health, especially when your injuries aren’t severe. A medical report will establish that you were indeed harmed, making it easier to deal with the driver’s insurance company.

Step 5: Call the Police

Avoid leaving the crash scene before the police arrive. Insurers often rely on police reports to determine fault. Moreover, the court will likely use the evidence of the report when you eventually decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Step 6: Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer

A bike-car accident can quickly turn into a messy legal process. An attorney specializing in bike crashes comes in handy to review your claim and negotiate with insurance providers.  They also help to beat the statute of limitation’s deadlines to settle your case.

Preventive measures

Although knowing what to do when an accident happens is necessary, preventing such incidents from occurring again is even better.

Here tips to help you stay safe on the road:

Improve your visibility on the road

When riding on the road, ensure other road users can easily identify you.

Here’s how:

  • Wear bright riding gear: Put on reflective attire, especially in areas where there’s poor lighting. Wearing reflector vests and armbands can make you stand out when cycling.
  • Bright colors: Choose more bright colors like orange and yellow, which many drivers can easily notice.
  • Use bike lights: Fit your bicycle with standard and recommended lighting both at the front and back.
  • Flashing lights: Use blinking or flashing lights that easily alert drivers and other road users.
  • Helmet lights: Consider mounting an additional light to your helmet. This can significantly enhance your visibility from all angles.
  • Add reflectors: Fit your wheels, pedals, and bike frame with reflectors to boost your visibility.

Follow safety and traffic regulations

Strict adherence to traffic guidelines and safe riding procedures can significantly minimize the risk of accidents:

  • Obey traffic signals: Always respect stop signs and at red lights. Treat them the way you would do when driving a vehicle.
  • Yield to pedestrians: Usually, pedestrians have the right of way at intersections and crosswalks.
  • Use signals effectively: Make your movements known to drivers and other riders by using hand signals to show your turns.
  • Use designated bike lanes: Never endanger or interfere with other drivers by using wrong lanes. Ensure you follow road rules and only use lanes reserved for bikers.
  • Avoid sidewalks: Interfering with pedestrian’s designated pathways can be dangerous and illegal.
  • Positioning: Let your cycling be predictable and consistent to motorists by riding in a straight line. Avoid swerving or switching lanes without notice.

Stay alert and aware

  • Avoid using gadgets like phones when biking on the road. These are distractors and can affect your alertness, especially when in traffic or during emergency signals.
  • Don’t wear your headphones while riding a bicycle because they can easily distract you from hearing oncoming traffic.
  • Ensure to maintain eye contact with other drivers, especially at intersections.
  • Be conscious of the road conditions by paying close attention to the road surface. Try to avoid potholes and other road obstacles that could make you to swerve suddenly.

Stay informed and educated

Take the initiative to always keep yourself abreast with new trends in biking to enhance your own safety.  Read local cycling laws and regulations because they can be different depending on the state. Familiarize yourself with modern safety measures and products that can boost safety on the roads.

Take safety courses

You can enhance your skills by enrolling in new cycling safety courses that local organizations offer. These lessons often contain useful skills and safety practices. Also, learn how to manage minor injuries and emergencies by taking a first aid course when available.

Maintenance and equipment

Always keep your bicycle in good order by regularly servicing it. In addition, remember to wear your helmet every time you go out on the road to protect yourself when you fall.

Community engagement

Join a cycling group to get the necessary support and knowledge from other more seasoned cyclists. Promote a safe cycling environment by engaging in advocacy efforts in your area.

Conclusion

Biking can be a fun activity with numerous health benefits. Unfortunately, cyclists can fall victims to reckless drivers. When a car hits a rider, the results can be devastating. By sticking to road rules and adopting preventive measures, you can significantly minimize incidents of bike accidents and continue enjoying your rides in peace.

About the Author

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Husain Law Firm

Nomaan K. Husain is the founder of Husain Law + Associates — Houston Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.C., a Houston-based law firm specializing in Litigation, Immigration, and Aviation. He is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law, with law licenses in Texas, New York, and other jurisdictions. Mr. Husain serves in key community roles, including as Commissioner on President Biden's White House Commission on Fellowships and Chairman of Houston's Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Board. He's been recognized with several awards, such as the Global Leader Award from the Houston World Affairs Council.

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