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Safety tips for bicycle commuters to follow

Have you come to realize the many benefits of commuting to and from work on your bicycle? Not only is it cheaper than driving a motor vehicle, but it may also be more time efficient. It's also a great way to get exercise on a daily basis.

While there is no denying the value of these benefits, it's important to realize that bicycle accidents can and do occur each and every day throughout the state of California.

Of course, the risk of an accident is no reason to avoid commuting on your bicycle. Instead, this simply means that you need to change your ways and focus on eliminating the risks associated with this mode of transportation.

Here are several safety tips to follow:

  • Watch out for the door zone. Car doors are extremely dangerous when cycling in the city. An opening door can cause you to make a quick decision, which often leads to an accident. Unfortunately, if you're unable to move quickly enough, you could strike the door head on.
  • Beware of reckless drivers. Although drivers are supposed to share the road with cyclists, this doesn't always happen. Instead, there are people who don't have any intention on sharing the road, which can increase the chance of an accident. Reckless drivers have the tendency to speed, change lanes without signaling, and verbally abuse cyclists.
  • Use hand signals. There is no reason to avoid the use of hand signals. Although some drivers may not know what these mean, at the very least it gets their attention. Furthermore, making eye contact with drivers and pedestrians allows you to give clues as to what you're thinking and the moves you're making.

If you're involved in a bicycle accident, there are three important steps to take:

  • Stay put unless you're able to move to a safer place, such as the sidewalk.
  • Contact an ambulance for immediate medical assistance (you may need to rely on somebody to do this for you).
  • Learn more about the cause of the accident and how this pertains to your legal rights.

If a driver caused the crash, for example, you may be able to file a lawsuit in an attempt to receive compensation. This money can then be used for medical treatment and other damages.

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