How bicyclists can protect themselves from injury

By following laws and wearing helmets, bicyclists can drastically reduce their risk of sustaining injuries on the road.

Every time people go out on Arizona roads, they are risking the possibility of getting into an accident. Those who ride bicycles are a lot less physically protected than those who drive cars. Even though bicyclists need to follow the same rules as other vehicles, there are also some specific practices that they can employ to maximize safety and minimize injury.

Always wear a helmet

Helmets provide cyclists with an important layer of protection against concussions and other head injuries. There are a few things that everybody should know about choosing and using the right helmet. A helmet should be recent and new, and if it has suffered an impact in a crash, it should be immediately replaced. When securing a helmet to the head, a biker should make sure the strap is tight enough for a stable, snug fit.

When checking the different helmet sizes, the helmet's brim should rest above the eyebrows by two finger-lengths. It should always be worn level - not tilted back, forward, or to either side. The Consumer Product Safety Commission rates the safety of helmets on the market. Some of the factors that are rated include coverage, strength of the straps and the performance of the helmet during impacts. They set the standards which every cyclist's helmet should meet.

Follow state law

According to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, the state has some specific laws that apply to bicyclists, some of which are included in the following list:

· A cyclist must pull off the road and let cars pass if riding on a two-lane road with five or more cars behind him or her.

· Unless turning left or passing, bicyclists moving slower than the rest of traffic must ride as far to the right as possible.

· By extending the right arm, cyclists can signal a right turn, and a left turn is signaled by extending the left arm. When changing lanes, cyclists need to yield to already-present traffic and make sure to signal beforehand, making sure to check behind themselves.

· On sidewalks and at crosswalks, bicycles must yield to pedestrians.

· Before sunrise or after sunset, cyclists should use a red reflector on the rear and a white headlight on the front of their bikes.

Stop signs and traffic lights are meant to be obeyed by cyclists just as much as by any other motorist. Remember that intersections are the most common places for cyclists and motorists to end up in accidents.

If an accident does occur while riding a bicycle in Arizona, people may be able to receive financial compensation to help pay for medical expenses. They may want to discuss their options with an experienced attorney in the area who practices personal injury law.

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