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Bicycle Safety Tips for Biking/Commuting in Vancouver, WA

Bicycling is a relaxing hobby and provides an excellent source of physical activity. It is also a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get to and from work or school. In Vancouver, there are numerous bike paths and trails for local residents and visitors to enjoy, but it is important to make safety a priority to avoid potentially serious injuries that can occur as the result of bike accidents. The following outlines some basic safety tips, as well as local laws to be aware of that can help protect you during your ride.

Bicycling in Vancouver, WA

Maps from the City of Vancouver show numerous bike paths and trails that provide an easy network for those who enjoy riding either as a hobby or as a form of transportation.

View the City of Vancouver Bike Map

Before heading out, it is important to be sure you are properly prepared for your trip. Follow these steps to ensure both you and your bike are ready:

  • Wear the proper clothing. Avoid flowing materials, and choose tennis shoes, rather than sandals. Wear bright, light-colored clothing, particularly if you are riding at night.
  • Wear the right safety gear. Long-sleeved shirts and pants can help protect your skin, along with knee and elbow pads if you plan on riding along rough terrain. Remember, bicycle safety helmets are also required in Vancouver for both children and adults.
  • Check your tires. Make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated. Keep a tire patch kit on your bike or in a backpack.
  • Install lights. Front and rear reflectors help increase your visibility in traffic. If you ride in the dark on your way home from work or school, consider using a headlight for added safety.
  • Do a general inspection. Make sure your handlebars, pedals, seat, and spokes are all securely attached and in good condition.

Vancouver Bike Laws

Bicycle laws in Vancouver are designed to help aid traffic flow and prevent bicycle accidents. In addition to local helmet ordinances, bicyclists are required to follow all the laws that apply to other motorists, such as obeying traffic signals and stopping at red lights. Other rules of the road for bicyclists in Vancouver include:

  • Bicyclists can ride side by side if space on the road or on bike paths permits, but no more than two abreast.
  • Bicyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic at all times.
  • While you may carry or hold objects while riding, you are required to keep one hand on the handlebars at all times.
  • Bicyclists should ride as far to the side of the right hand lane as possible. If you are on a two-lane road and five or more cars line up behind you, you must pull over and let them pass.

In the event an accident does occur, notify local law enforcement, get the driver’s personal contact and vehicle information, and seek medical attention for your injuries. For professional legal guidance in filing an injury claim, call (503) 546-3167 or contact the Johnston Law Firm online and request a free consultation with a bicycle injury lawyer today. A dedicated personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation that you deserve.

About

Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.