Accidents between cars and bicyclists are all too common in Virginia Beach which has a reputation as being a city that’s less than friendly for riders.
I was, therefore, alarmed to read about how person on a bike was hit by a car and injured in Virginia Beach Thursday afternoon.
WAVY.com reported on how the accident occurred at 12:15 p.m. at the intersection of S. Independence Boulevard and Baxter Road, police dispatchers said.
A cyclist taken to the hospital. There is no information on the extent of the injuries. The intersection was closed off as police investigated and cleared the scene, but has since reopened.
More bicyclists are on the roads over the summer months and they are vulnerable to cars and trucks.
Virginia Beach has an unenviable reputation for accidents involving cyclists. My home city of Chesapeake is not much better. Last year, a cyclist was hit by a truck and killed at the intersection of Cedar Road and Albemarle Drive in Chesapeake.
Here are some safety tips for cyclists, courtesy of Yield to Life.
1 Know the Law
As a cyclist you should familiarize yourself with all applicable traffic laws and cycling rules. Each state has its own set of laws and some cities have ordinances. Motorists will be much more willing to accept a cyclist’s rightful place on the road if cyclists act lawfully and respectfully. Running red lights and riding facing the traffic are two of the biggest issues I see on the streets of Hampton Roads.
2 Stay to the Right
It’s usually illegal or unsafe to ride your bike on a sidewalk or on the road towards oncoming traffic. Aim to ride in the direction of traffic, staying as far to the right as is practical. But don’t get so far to the right that you run risk of hitting the curb and being thrown into traffic.
3 Know When to Join Traffic
If you are traveling at the same speed as other traffic, you may want ride with traffic because it will make you more visible to drivers. Joining traffic can necessary when a road is too narrow for both a bike and a car. When you do join traffic, make sure you never pass on the right, as this is a very dangerous practice.
4 Wear a Helmet
Even if you are just going around the corner to the store, you should wear a helmet. Make sure it is fitted snugly and meets regulations. Wearing a helmet can lessen your odds of sustaining a brain injury.
5 Make Eye Contact
Make eye contact with other drivers whenever possible. This helps the motorists see you and helps you assert your rightful place on the road. In Virginia Beach there have been incidents of drivers deliberately targeting cyclists. Eye contact can help convince other drivers you are indeed part of the traffic.
6 Ride Predictably
Try to ride consistently and predictably on the road. Do not unexpectedly veer into a crosswalk and then suddenly reappear on the road again. Don’t thread through parked cars. Erratic behavior could annoy motorists and increase your odds of being hurt.
7 Wear Bright Clothing
Cyclists can be particularly at risk when it darkens and afternoon storms hit Hampton Roads. Wear reflective gear and a bright helmet and use lights at night.
8 Check your Bike
Simple checks of brakes and tires can help make your ride safer. You should regularly check your bike over before you ride it.
Accidents involving cyclists occur far too often in Hampton Roads. Even if you ride with care, you can still fall victim to a reckless or negligent driver. If you are injured due to the fault of another road user, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.