Riding a bicycle is a great recreational and fitness activity and an eco-friendly alternative to commuting in your car. However, when you share the road with motorists, you risk a collision that can potentially result in catastrophic injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1,000 bicyclists lose their lives and another 130,000 sustain injuries every year in the U.S. following accidents involving motorists. As a cyclist in a collision with a motorized vehicle, you will likely fare worse than the driver or passengers of the car.
Taking measures to protect yourself
Though motorists must look out for the safety of others on the road, they often overlook bicyclists. The following measures can help you protect yourself:
- Wear a helmet, even when the law does not require it
- Wear bright colors and reflective clothing or safety vests
- Use a helmet mirror and remain aware of changes in traffic patterns
Ensuring that drivers can see you is key to avoiding a serious accident.
Understanding the regulations for bicyclists
Oklahoma state law treats a bicycle as a vehicle and requires cyclists to follow road rules. You do not have to yield your lane to a motorized vehicle even though you move at a slower speed. However, you should ride as far to the right as is safely possible, and a passing car needs to give you at least a 3-foot-wide berth.
Though motorists have a duty to look out for other road users, you may need to take extra precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride. Your life is worth it.