Riding a bike is an inexpensive way to get around Portland. Whether you are commuting to work or school, running errands, or visiting local destinations throughout the city, it saves you from having to pay for gas and parking, as well as the costs associated with maintaining a vehicle. However, as bicyclists are among the most vulnerable road users, it is important to take safety precautions to prevent bicycle accidents and injuries.
Tips on Preventing Bicycle Accidents in Portland
Bicycle accidents in Portland happen on a regular basis and can result in serious, potentially life-threatening personal injuries. The following are ten ways bicyclists can protect themselves:
- Adhere to traffic regulations. Bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as any other road user. While you may not get pulled over by police, disregarding traffic rules puts you at risk. A recent FOX 12 Oregon news report details how a cyclist was tragically killed earlier in the summer after running a red light and being struck by a driver in the opposite lane.
- Stay with the flow of traffic. Riding in the same direction as other motorists eliminates confusion. It makes it easier for them to see you and to rely on their driving instincts in avoiding potential crashes.
- Use bike hand signals. The Oregon Bicyclist Manual illustrates traditional bike hand signals for making turns or switching lanes. Many bicyclists today are more likely to simply point in the direction they are headed. Either way, it is important to let other road users know your intentions.
- Check your rearview mirror frequently. If you do not have a rearview mirror on your bicycle, it is easy to install one. It lets you keep an eye on drivers behind you on busy roads and when coming to stops at intersections.
- Ride to the left. This helps you avoid collisions with car doors in areas with on-street parking and with drivers making right turns on side streets.
- Pick safe routes to ride. Portland transportation studies show that bicycle accidents happen more frequently on roads that see heavy traffic or are in a state of disrepair.
- Make sure your bike is well-maintained. Mechanical problems are often a contributing cause of bike accidents.
- Increase your visibility. Wear light, bright colors when riding. Install head and brake lights on your bicycle.
- Pay attention. The same as when driving, keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the handlebars, and your mind on navigating safely at all times.
- Reduce your speed. Going too fast for conditions not only increases the risk of bicycle accidents, but it also increases the risk of serious personal injuries.
Contact Us Today for Help
Even when taking safety precautions, the reckless actions of motorists can put you at risk. When bicycle accident injuries happen, the Johnston Law Firm P.C. helps you get the compensation you need to recover in a claim. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland bicycle accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.