7 Best Practices for Arizona Bicyclists
Bicycling is a healthy, fun, and eco-friendly alternative to driving, but Arizona bicyclists need to know the state’s laws concerning cycling and how to avoid accidents. Generally, the law considers bicycles as equivalent to motor vehicles, therefore bicyclists always have an obligation to follow posted traffic signals and operate their bicycles as safely as possible. If you have been injured while biking, contact a Phoenix bicycle accident lawyer at Knapp & Roberts to help you recover damages you deserve.
7 Best Practices for Bicyclists
All cyclists in Arizona should follow a few general guidelines.
- Use appropriate safety equipment. Only a few cities have explicit helmet laws for riders over the age of 18, but all riders under 18 must always wear helmets while riding bicycles in Arizona and older riders should consider the safety benefits of wearing appropriately fitted helmets. It is also wise to wear reflective clothing at night and consider attaching a headlamp to your helmet for night riding.
- Know your hand signals. Bicycles do not have turn signals like motor vehicles, so cyclists should know how to signal to other drivers when they intend to turn. This helps drivers predict a cyclist’s movements and prevent accidents.
- Ride with the flow of traffic. Just like motor vehicles, bicycles should keep to the right whenever possible and ride with the flow of traffic. Although it may seem like riding against the flow of traffic would make a cyclist more visible, a motorist turning onto the street may not expect a cyclist coming from the opposite direction. Always ride in the direction of traffic on your side of the road.
- Ride defensively. Never assume that another driver will yield the right of way to you while riding your bike. It is always best to err on the side of caution and ride defensively. Although drivers should yield the right of way to cyclists, this doesn’t always happen, and it is always best to remain defensive around motor vehicles.
- Stay off the sidewalk. While no statewide law prohibits riding bikes on the sidewalk, a few Arizona cities have banned the practice. Regardless of where you ride, staying off the sidewalk can help prevent serious injuries to nearby pedestrians. Ride in the street or in a bike lane if one is available.
- Pay attention. Some riders may enjoy listening to music while riding but wearing headphones on a bike is extremely dangerous and makes it more difficult to notice changing traffic conditions.
- Always keep personal identification with you. It is wise to keep your ID and cell phone with you while you ride your bike. This will help emergency responders identify you in the event of an accident that leaves you unresponsive.
It is important to remember that even riding as safely as possible cannot guarantee you will not suffer injuries in a bicycle accident. Negligent drivers, drunk drivers, distracted drivers, and hazardous road conditions may all cause accidents, and it is essential to know what to do in these situations.
What to Do After an Accident
If you suffer injuries while riding your bike due to the negligence of another driver, your priority should be to seek medical attention immediately, even if you think you only suffered minor injuries. Adrenaline can temporarily dull pain sensations, so you may be more hurt than you realize at first. Arizona law also requires drivers to report any traffic accidents that result in bodily injury, death, or significant property damage. It is best to notify the police of any bicycle accident immediately, so you have a report on file for the incident.
After a bicycle accident, an injured cyclist should address his or her medical needs first and then contact an Phoenix injury attorney to discuss options for legal recourse. If another driver’s negligence caused the accident, then the cyclist needs legal representation to hold the at-fault driver accountable and secure compensation for his or her damages.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.