A brisk bike ride sounds like a wonderful way to spend a winter’s day in Florida. While you’re out enjoying the cool winter air, you should be aware of the potential dangers of riding a bicycle during this time of year. Even in Florida, the wintertime can be hazardous for cyclists. Without being prepared for the potential dangers, cyclists in Florida could risk having a bicycle accident, which could significantly impact their lives. To avoid a bicycle accident, you must understand how to stay safe while riding your bicycle this winter.
Make Sure Your Bike Is Safe to Ride
Before you hit the road, check your bicycle to make sure it’s safe for you to ride. You should make sure that you are riding the right size bike. Also, check your breaks, tire pressure, wheels, chains, and any other part of the bike that could have an impact on your ride. Checking your tire pressure is especially important in the winter because tires lose air pressure faster in cold temperatures. Remember to check these components before every ride. Bicycle maintenance is a fundamental part of biking safety.
Follow Basic Bike Safety Practices
While biking, keep both hands on the handlebars. You will avoid accidents by maintaining control of your bike, which can be more challenging if you’re traveling on icy or wet roads. In addition, remember that it’s essential to be highly visible while you’re riding a bike. In the winter, the sun sets earlier, so it gets dark sooner. Whether it’s dark or foggy, you should ensure that everyone can see you. To be visible, wear bright, highly reflective clothing and get a headlight for your bicycle. It’s also important to communicate with others on the road. That means signal your turns so that your movements are clear to drivers and pedestrians.
Ride Your Bike Where It’s Safest
The fewer obstacles there are, the less likely there will be a danger. Residential areas typically have fewer cars on the road, making them safer than busy streets in urban areas. If your area has bike lanes, they would be the best place to ride since they are designated for biking. If not, ride in the street. When riding in the street, make sure to take up the whole lane.
Though it is legal in the state of Florida, try to avoid riding your bike on the sidewalk. Sidewalks aren’t always even, and it may be more challenging to maneuver around objects, pedestrians, and debris. If you cannot ride your bike safely on the sidewalk, you may have to walk your bike until it is safe to do so.
Stay Alert While You’re Riding Your Bike
You should be alert and aware of your surroundings while riding your bike. Being alert will allow you to react as quickly as possible should anything happen. Watch out for cars, pedestrians, and other vehicles on the road. Don’t wear headphones while you’re riding. You will need to be able to hear. Remember to scan your surroundings as you ride. In the winter, you’ll want to avoid puddles, leaves, and ice patches.
Follow All Traffic Laws While Riding in the Street
Many bicycle accidents occur because cyclists aren’t always aware of their responsibilities or rights while on the road. In Florida, bicycles are considered vehicles, and their riders are drivers. As a cyclist, you should respect the right of way for pedestrians and stop at red lights. It’s vital that you ride with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic flow could put you in danger as it’s more difficult for cars to maneuver with you in mind. Following traffic laws will also improve your visibility. Staying in your lane as if you were riding a motor vehicle will help you stay out of drivers’ blind spots.
Learn Florida Bicycle Laws with Help from a Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Winter weather usually means more wet roads and dead leaves on the ground. Such an environment can be dangerous for anyone who bikes in the winter. Bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries, resulting in loss of income and hurting your quality of life. After getting medical care, protect your rights by hiring the best bicycle accident lawyer you can find to represent you.
Baker Legal Team can help you understand what compensation you’re entitled to after a bicycle accident. We have extensive experience helping clients with their personal injury cases, especially those who have been in bicycle accidents. Board-certified attorney Robert Baker is proud to provide clients with the award-winning representation they deserve. Consultations are always free, so reach out to our experts by filling out our online contact form or call us at (561) 320-0000.