Bicycle Safety Primer 2018

Highly qualified Super Lawyer & Experienced Cyclist Kenneth Knabe – Protecting Cyclists in Greater Cleveland through injury representation, sponsorships, safety education and Vision Zero legislation. Knabe Law Firm Co., LPA: 14222 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107. Phone: 216-228-7200.

Some Safety Tips as a refresher before heading out on the road in 2018!

LEGALLY REQUIRED
1) Always ROW! A safe cyclist always has the ROW—the Right of Way! You gain the ROW by obeying the traffic laws! Riding your bike like a car is known as “Vehicular Cycling”: stop at stop signs and red lights, yield to pedestrians, ride within the speed limit, and ride in the direction of traffic. Cyclists who follow these two rules are in 75% less accidents.
2) Illuminated white light in front and a red in the back from sundown to sunrise. LIGHTS Legally required at night and when it rains! Might as well have them on day and night.
3) Ride to the right of the lane unless it’s unreasonable or unsafe, or if the lane is so narrow that a car cannot safely pass you.
4) Use State-mandated hand signals if stopping or slowing, turning, or moving right or left.

If a car hits you when you follow traffic laws, you will likely have the ROW—RIGHT OF WAY! This greatly improves your chance of recovering for your bike damage and any injury.

OTHER SAFETY SUGGESTIONS (Not legally required)
1) Wear a helmet. Not mandated for adults under Ohio law but some local Ordinances require helmets, especially for minors. Two-thirds or more of fatally injured bicyclists were not wearing helmets.
2) Be conspicuous. Please stay visible: wear a bright contrasting kit; reflective clothing, front, back and side light on the seat stay ON in daytime! Bright is smart both day and night! Lights and reflective material on rotating parts hands and feet.
3) Communicate! Announce your intentions. i.e. “passing on the left” or “on your left” or “on your right”. Bells and yells!
4) Be predictable. Predictability is another component for keeping a cyclist safe. A cyclist should avoid weaving or sudden movements and should always announce their intentions.
5) Share the road. As cyclists, we are Ambassadors. Check yourself at the gate. No fingers, no swearing.

AVOID GETTING HIT (Not legally required, except for lights at night)
We are getting hit by cars from behind, when turning left, and are getting hooked when turning right! Defenses include: rear reflector, rear light on, front white light on, additional red lights on the back of the bike, additional white lights on front of the bike, side lights on the rear seat stay, bright contrasting and reflective clothing.

TRAFFIC TICKETS
No points can be assessed to a cyclist who violates traffic laws unless the cyclist is riding under the influence. Ohio Rev. Code §4511.52 (2006)

INSURANCE
Every cyclist who owns a car and has auto liability insurance, should always insist on having a high amount of uninsured motorist coverage (‘U’).

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