While drivers should always take the steps necessary to look out for bicycle riders, the unfortunate reality is that not all of them do.
Many bicycle accidents occur because of inattentive or reckless drivers who fail to spot riders and prevent collisions. With this in mind, riders can take some steps to increase their visibility to those behind the wheel and ensure that they stay safe.
The colors you wear during your ride can make a huge impact on your visibility. Muted colors like white, black, brown, or green can blend into your surroundings and make you more difficult to spot. Instead, opt for brighter colors that pop out and catch the eye, such as neon yellow, lime green, hot pink, and orange.
Adding light or reflective gear is another important part of improving visibility. Colorado law now explicitly requires all bicycles to be equipped with a white front-facing light and a red rear-facing reflector or light that can be visible 500 feet away the night. Riders can also purchase reflective clothing or reflective tape that they can put stick onto their helmets, clothes, or bike.
Most bicycles don’t have turn signals or brake lights, tools that all vehicles have to notify other drivers of their actions and future maneuvers. To make up for this, riders should use hand signals to communicate with drivers, which can be done using three simple signals:
Left turn. Arm extended out straight to the left
Right turn. Arm extended straight out to the right
Stopping. Arm out and down at a 45-degree angle with the palm facing back.
Don’t rely too much on the actions of other drivers. You may think you are completely visible to all cars, yet some drivers still may not be able to see you. Additionally, ride predictability and don’t swerve in and out of traffic.
A bicycling group is much easier to spot than a singular rider. Even having one other rider with you allows you both to increase visibility and while still getting a workout in. We know that group riding is not always possible, such as if you’re commuting to work, but you can try to do so when the situation allows for it.
Ultimately, drivers hold a majority of the responsibility when it comes to the safety of those on two wheels. Riders can take all the steps needed to increase their visibility but still become victims of negligent drivers.
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, hiring a personal injury is not just recommended but necessary. If your collision was caused because of a driver’s negligence, you are entitled to pursue compensation for:
Lost wages and lost earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Diminished quality of life
At Klein Frank, we fully support our clients in recovering full and fair compensation for that they have endured. Our dedicated legal team has a 100% success rate in recovery for our clients' bicycle accident cases. You can rest easy knowing your case is on our hands.
Contact Klein Frank at (303) 622-3876 to schedule your free, personalized case review.