In 2021, Florida recorded more than 150 bicycle fatalities, once again making it the deadliest state for cyclists. While motorists are supposed to share the road with cyclists, most drive recklessly and lead to accidents.
Before we look at the myths, it is vital to understand the severity of bicycle accidents. A head-on collision between a cyclist and a car can lead to fatalities because the cyclist is exposed and vulnerable. Cyclists are more likely to be injured in an accident than motorists.
With these accidents come various myths about riding bicycles on the road that we need to demystify.
Cyclists Don’t Have to Follow Traffic Rules, They Are a Law unto Themselves
Most road rules apply to cyclists as well, including staying within the speed limits and not using phones when riding their bicycles, and obeying traffic lights.
We also have specific rules for cyclists, including wearing helmets and bright clothes while on the road.
Failure to follow the rules attracts penalties.
Cyclists Can Ride at Night Without Lights
Cyclists are supposed to have lights on their bicycles to help them see where they’re going. The lights also help oncoming motor vehicles to notice them, reducing the chance of accidents. They need to install both front and rear lights that must be visible from at least 200 meters.
Apart from the lights, the cyclist is expected to wear a reflector jacket that makes him clearly visible from 50 meters away. All this is to make sure he is visible on the road at night to avoid collisions.
It Is Safe to Ride a Bicycle When Intoxicated
Controlling a bicycle is more challenging compared to automobiles. Riding a bicycle requires balance, good judgment, and coordination always. Being intoxicated can impact these abilities.
Helmets aren’t Necessary when Riding a Bicycle
The state law in Florida requires cyclists to wear appropriate helmets when riding on highways. Riders with helmets are 70 percent less likely to die in a bicycle accident than riders without helmets.
Choose a helmet that fits properly and offers the protection that you need.
Helmets are necessary due to their energy-absorbing abilities. This means that you prevent neck and spinal cord injuries when wearing the right helmet.
Laying Your Bicycle down Slows Your Speed
Crashing your bicycle to avoid an accident isn’t a good plan because you can slam harder into a vehicle and get wedged under it. Once you lie on the ground, you are at a bigger risk of being run over by other motorists.
Cyclists Don’t Need to Practice
While experienced cyclists can ride any bicycle, this doesn’t mean that you should do so without any practice. However easy it might seem to ride the bicycle, you need to find the right one for your body type.
Different bicycles handle differently, and if you aren’t accustomed to one, minor issues can cause you to crash. Just like a bike, you need to get accustomed to the feel of a new bicycle before you can head out.
Motorists Always See Cyclists while Driving
Some drivers are distracted, but even the most careful drivers can miss a cyclist riding in their blind spot. Cyclists are less visible than bikers, so always make sure you drive defensively and assume that the drivers won’t see you. Stay out of blind spots and don’t ride too close to vehicles.
An Accident Will Never Happen to Me
No matter how long you have been riding a bicycle without any incident, accidents still happen. Ignoring these myths helps, but if you get involved in a bicycle accident, contact a bicycle accident injury lawyer to assist you in lodging a claim for compensation.