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Important aspects for cycling safety

As the weather warms up, many cyclists are preparing to hit the roads. In order to remain safe and avoid bicycle accidents, it is important that they use proper safety measures.

There are a few key aspects for cyclists to keep in mind that may help them to stay safe while cycling

Equipment

The state of Louisiana has certain equipment requirements for cyclists. A few of the main ones include the following:

  • All bikes must have brakes that will skid on different elements.
  • Parents or guardians must ensure that children under 12 wear helmets with securing straps.
  • Cyclists riding at night or in the elements must have reflectors and front and rear lights.

Cyclists should be sure that they are aware of all of the latest equipment regulations and that they and their passengers are in full compliance.

Safety

Even with all of the right equipment, cyclists must still take other safety steps to protect themselves on the roadways. For example, cyclists who are familiar with and use hand signals may maneuver through traffic more safely.

It is also important that they are vigilant in common areas and instances that can result in accidents such as along streets lined with parked cars. Being "doored" may look funny on television, but it is a very painful experience and can result in serious injuries. Motorists should pay attention to keep from hurting a cyclist in this manner, but many do not. By staying mindful of the possibility of opening doors, driveways and other dangerous conditions, cyclists can hopefully avoid those types of accidents.

Laws

Along with common traffic laws, it is crucial that cyclists be aware of the specific bike laws of the state. Not only do these laws promote safety, but they also help to protect cyclists in certain circumstances. For example, the law protects cyclists from people passing on the left by requiring drivers to allow at least three feet between the side of their vehicle and the bicycle. In the unfortunate case of an accident, being aware of such laws can aid the cyclist in preparing a solid legal claim. 

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