If you accidentally make contact with a pedestrian while you're bicycling, the impact will, ideally, be minimal, and everyone can carry on. In other situations, however, you may cause an injury to the person and be hearing from his or her accident attorney in the weeks ahead. While you can't completely eliminate the risk of hitting someone with your bicycle, there are many things that you can do to lower this chance. And, in the event that a collision does occur, you can list the precautions that you'd taken to hopefully have the case dismissed. Here are some things that you should always do.
Stay On The Roadway
Unless a particular area is signed otherwise, you should endeavor to always ride your bicycle on the road. Moving onto the sidewalk can sometimes be enticing, especially if the sidewalk is lightly populated and vehicle traffic on the road is heavy, but a collision with a pedestrian is more likely when you're on the sidewalk. And, because you aren't supposed to be there, the court may side with the injured person. By staying on the road, there's less of a chance that a pedestrian will dart out in front of you.
Use A Light And A Bell
In the event of a collision between a cyclist and a pedestrian in which the latter is injured, he or she may suggest that you weren't easy to see. You can make this claim difficult to believe if you have a light on your bicycle that you have turned on whenever the conditions are dark. Additionally, using a bell is an important way to alert pedestrians to your presence. For example, if you're traveling on the road and a pedestrian is standing on the edge of the sidewalk, ringing your bell lets him or her know that you're coming. This should hopefully be enough to keep the pedestrian from stepping out in front of you.
Lower Your Speed Or Walk
In certain environments with considerable pedestrian traffic, you can't guarantee that someone won't inadvertently walk into your path, resulting in an injury. You can reduce the likelihood of a collision and an injury by slowing your speed. Even though doing so can sometimes be a nuisance, this pales in comparison to hitting someone and going through a lawsuit. In some cases, you may even wish to climb off your bike and walk it through the area to allow you to further control it.
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