Though there are many positives associated with bike riding in Orange County, it is an activity that comes with considerable risk. The reason is lack of protection. When you navigate the roads in a car, you have a steel cage surrounding you, seatbelts, and a comprehensive airbag system. On a bike, you have none of those things. The result is that if you are struck by a car, there is a high chance of sustaining severe injuries. If you ever are a victim of this type of situation, you will need to contact a personal injury attorney in Orange County for assistance. That being said, if you understand the dangers of bike riding and adopt a few safety tips, you could avoid an injury entirely.
The most recent NHTSA bicycle safety data accounts for 840 cyclist deaths in the United States in 2016. Additionally, the 2015 data estimates total injuries to be 45,000. What this means is that a significant amount of bicycle accidents happen every day, and at least a couple of them lead to death. If you are a bike rider in Orange County, you should realize this and adopt new behaviors to protect yourself.
Most Dangerous Situations
The majority of bicycle accidents happen at intersections and on roads that have no designated bike lanes. Though we have listed specific safety tips below, it is also useful to know where accidents happen most. That way, you can raise your awareness and be extra careful in those situations.
There are many ways you can increase your odds of safety while on the road. The following suggestions are the most effective.
Wear Protective Gear - Some crashes are unavoidable. When this is the case, you will want to have equipment to protect you. The most important of all of them is your helmet, which is your best safeguard against death. Other options include gloves and padded clothing.
Resist Distractions - One of the typical reasons why a driver might hit you is lack of attention. They are not the only ones who fall into this trap, though. Bicycle riders are also at risk of succumbing to distraction. When you are riding your bike, you need to give the road your full attention. That means no phone usage, eating, or drinking until your ride is over.
Ride on the Right Side - Some runners and bikers report that they prefer to ride into oncoming traffic. The reason is that they want to see all of the potential danger in front of them. In practice, this is a poor strategy. Not only is it incredibly unsafe, but it is also against the law. If you want to avoid injury and tickets, it is best to stay on the right side of the road.
Avoid Peak Hours - The two most dangerous times for bikers are commuting hours and late at night. The reason for the first is high traffic and aggressive drivers. During rush hour, people tend to lose their composure and make mistakes. When they do, you could be a victim. Late night is dangerous because of lack of visibility and the rise in drunk drivers. If you can, you should avoid these problematic times.
Stay Out of Blind Spots - A typical way cars hit bikes is by taking a right turn at an intersection. What happens is that the driver looks in their mirror but does not check their blind spot. When they change lanes, they collide with the biker. Though you cannot convince every driver to check their blind spot, you can try to stay out of them.
Never Drink and Ride - Just like drivers, bike riders who drink are more likely to make mistakes. On top of that, it is illegal to ride a bike while drunk. Doing so could result in a DUI or a severe injury.
Though riding a bike in Orange County is dangerous, you don't need to stop riding. Instead, you can understand the dangers of biking and follow a few critical safety precautions. Once you do, you will significantly increase your odds of safety, and be able to ride with confidence.