Cyclists can take precautions against being hit by uninsured motorists

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Bicycle tips |

California boasts some of the most scenic cycling routes in the country. However, sharing the road with motorists comes with inherent risks, especially when some drivers operate without proper insurance.

Uninsured motorist accidents can leave cyclists with significant medical bills and limited recourse. While entirely eliminating these risks is impossible, cyclists can significantly improve their safety on California roads by taking proactive steps.

Increasing visibility: Be seen, be safe

A good place to begin if you’re an enthusiastic cyclist is investing in high-visibility clothing. Wearing brightly colored jerseys, jackets and reflective gear can help ensure motorists see you on the road. Opt for neon colors during the day and reflective materials for evening and night rides.

You should also confirm your bike has a functioning headlight and taillight, even during daytime rides. Consider adding blinkers or additional reflective elements for extra visibility. During your rides, make an effort to maintain a straight line, make the signal turn clearly and avoid weaving in and out of traffic. Predictable riding makes it easier for motorists to anticipate your movement.

Owning the lane: Claim your space

When you’re out exploring, you should always assume motorists may not see you and position yourself defensively. Avoid riding too close to parked vehicles or hugging the curb where right hooks can occur.

Particularly on roads without designated bike lanes, claim your lane with confidence. This forces motorists to give you a wider berth when passing. Whenever you can, make eye contact with motorists when passing side-by-side or at intersections. Establishing eye contact can help ensure they acknowledge your presence.

If you’re a regular cyclist, by adopting these best practices, you can significantly mitigate the risks associated with uninsured motorists. That said, it’s crucial to acknowledge that even with these precautions, accidents with motorists can still happen. Should you get hit by an uninsured motorist, you can benefit from personalized legal feedback as you navigate the challenges of this situation.