5 Safety Tips for Bicycling in Minnesota

5 Safety Tips for Bicycling in Minnesota

With Minnesota’s breathtaking scenic routes and communities, seizing the opportunity to appreciate the views while exercising is a great way to pass the time. Cycling is a popular activity, and according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, there was a 51% increase in walking and bicycling during the 2020 pandemic. 

Many people are enjoying this outdoor exercise, and while cycling has many great health benefits, there are some risks involved. Cyclists are in close proximity to vehicular traffic and should take precautions when on the road. If you happen to be involved in an accident because of another person’s negligent actions, contact a personal injury lawyer for information on how you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses. 

5 Ways to Stay Safe While Bicycling in Minnesota

The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety estimates that eight bicyclists are killed annually in accident involving motor vehicles. When riders move next to traffic, they’re more likely to suffer severe injuries because of their lack of impact protection. Drivers are dangerous for bicyclists, and while you can’t control those around you, following these safety tips can help protect you from serious injuries.

Check Your Safety Equipment 

While distracted drivers are dangerous and often cause bike accidents, that’s not the only way a cyclist can get hurt. Make sure you have the proper safety equipment on your bike and check routinely for anything that might not be in the best condition. If you encounter a bump in the road and your bike isn’t prepared for that kind of impact, you might sustain severe injuries.

Use Proper Signals 

Unlike motor vehicles, most bikes don’t have flashing turn signals to show those around you where you intend to go. Instead, there are arm movements and other ways to signal which direction you’re going. Communication is vital for your safety, and simply learning the proper techniques to signal cars can save you from harm.

Ride with the Flow of Traffic

You should always travel in the same direction as traffic. If you’re moving against the flow of vehicles around you, you’re much more likely to be involved in a crash. While you might feel safer as you can see the cars coming towards you, if you are in an accident while riding against the flow of traffic, you’ll most likely be at fault. Most importantly, when you ride against traffic flow, drivers ahead of you turning right, and heading toward you only look left and not to the right, where you are biking.  This causes many accidents.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Cyclists will often tell you to ride a bike as if you were driving a car; this means following rules like not weaving in between lanes and ignoring traffic signals. Even if you are in a race where your time is important and stopping for a red light adds a significant amount of rest, you should never risk the safety of yourself and others on the road. Bikers have most of the same rules and laws as cars, but must keep as far to the right as safely possible when riding.

Use Dedicated Bike Lanes

You might not always have access to designated bike lanes, but if they’re available, it’s crucial to use them. Bike lanes are specifically for cyclists and staying in these lanes is great for training as well as keeping you safe. You might also be tempted to ride on the sidewalk, but even though that may feel safer, it actually puts you and others in more danger than riding on the road does. Sidewalks are made specifically for pedestrians and leisure biking. Staying off these designated areas is highly recommended. 

The rush of adrenaline as you ride is extraordinary and rewarding. Taking these steps to make sure that you’re safe on the road as you ride will reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries and will allow you to continue to enjoy cycling. 

Contact an Experienced Southern Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney Today

Following our safety tips can help reduce the risk of bicycle accidents, but while you may follow the rules on your end, the same might not be true for others on the road. When you’re in a bicycle accident and sustain severe injuries because of someone else’s carelessness, you might be entitled to compensation for financial losses. 

At Knutson + Casey we are committed to providing guidance through legal processes and advocating for the rights and best interests of our clients. With a passion for fair and effective personal injury representation, our goal is to protect your interests and future at each turn. 

To learn more about how our team can assist you, call (507) 344-8888 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.