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Protect yourself when cycling this summer

With the Georgia weather quickly heating up, many people may find themselves breaking out their bicycles in order to get some exercise or to reach certain destinations. Whether you are a cycling hobbyist or enjoy using your bike to get to your UGA summer classes, it is important that you stay safe.

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents involving vehicles are not uncommon, and you, as the cyclist, are much more at risk of suffering serious or even fatal injuries than those inside a car. As a result, you may want to take the time and make the effort to be a conscientious bicyclist and help yourself remain safe whenever possible.

Check your helmet

Though you likely understand the importance of always wearing a helmet when riding a bike, you may not always check that you are wearing your helmet correctly. Some helmet safety tips that could help you include these:

  • Make sure the helmet fits snuggly against your head by adjusting the sizing pads or fit ring.
  • Make sure that the buckle of the chin strap centers under your chin.
  • Tighten the chin strap so the helmet will not shift too much.
  • Ensure that the helmet covers your forehead and doesn't tip too far forward or backward.

Your helmet is one of the few safety devices you may have as a bicyclist, and if you do not wear it properly, it may not provide optimal protection.

Check your visibility

A significant cause of bicycle accidents is drivers not seeing bicyclists. Therefore, before you head out, you may want to do your part to increase your visibility by taking the following actions:

  • Wear bright-colored clothing.
  • Wear reflective clothing and have a flashing light on your bicycle if riding at night.
  • Ride during the day rather than at night whenever you can.

Of course, you can take other actions to help drivers see you, such as making eye contact with drivers when possible and using hand signals before turning or taking other actions.

What to do after an accident

Though you may do your best to ride safely, some drivers may simply not pay enough attention to bicyclists. As a result, you could wind up suffering serious injuries if struck by a vehicle. After such an accident, you may want to consider your legal options for pursuing compensation for damages resulting from the event, like medical expenses and other financial losses. Discussing your possible case with a personal injury attorney may help you at such a time.

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