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How to Stay Safe on the Road as a Bicyclist

A man wearing a helmet and a green backpack rides his bike through a brightly lit city at night, the lights blurring and blending behind him as he rides along the street.

How to Stay Safe on the Road as a Bicyclist 

A man wearing a helmet and a green backpack rides his bike through a brightly lit city at night, the lights blurring and blending behind him as he rides along the street.

Our little mountain town of Flagstaff has been hailed as a “biker’s paradise” and “biker’s mecca” for both mountain bikers and commuters, with approximately 9 percent of all trips being made by bicycle, almost 9 times the national average. However, even in a community where biking (whether it be on a trail or on the way to work) is such a large part of the culture and everyday lives of its residents, it’s still important to remember that accidents can and do happen.

There are many dangers cyclists have to contend with, including, but not limited to: motor vehicles, pedestrians, weather, and other bicyclists.

Image shows a parked bicycle filling up with snow against a background of a snowy city street. The text above it reads: "There were 1,490 pedalcycle, or non-motorized bicycle, accidents in the state of Arizona in 2017."

Think an accident couldn’t happen to you? There were 1,490 pedalcycle, or non-motorized bicycle, accidents in the state of Arizona in 2017. That’s still about half the number of motorcycle accidents, and tens of thousands less than the number of multi-car accidents that occurred in 2017, a number reaching over 100,000 in Arizona alone. However, it’s still enough that we should be concerned about bikers, biker safety, and what we can each do to make each other safer.

So what can you do? For starters, as a bicyclist, we recommend that you follow the rules of the road. In Arizona, bicyclists are supposed to act as motor vehicles do — using the bike lane when possible or regular motor vehicle lanes when not possible, riding with traffic, and signalling with your hand when you are stopping or making a turn. Pedestrians still have right of way, just as they do when driving a car, but you should avoid sidewalks — or walk your bike on sidewalks when necessary anyway. Moreover, if you find yourself riding at night, equip your bike with a light — it’s the law! Finally, just be attentive and practice caution. We’re hoping you’re doing that anyway, but it’s always worthwhile to remind yourself every once and awhile. And always wear a helmet, even if it gives you helmet hair.

Graphic provides of series of tips on how to stay safe while cycling. They read, as follows, "act as a motor vehicle," "give right of way to pedestrians," "light it up," and "protect your head." For each tip there is an accompanying icon -- a car, a walking stick figure, a light bulb, and a helmet. There is also a small caption that reads: "Follow the rules of the road, pay attention, and practice caution."

However, no matter how careful you are, accidents can happen — and it may not always be your fault. Cyclists are expected to follow the same rules as motor vehicles, but they are also entitled to the same rights too. So if you or someone you know has been injured or experienced personal damage at the hand of a motorist, please consider contacting us, Antol and Sherman, to make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Our team of dedicated trial attorneys at Antol & Sherman, PC, has more than 60 years of combined legal experience and a strong track record of providing successful legal counsel. We have been practicing criminal, family and divorce, drug and DUI, and accident law in Flagstaff, Arizona and surrounding northern Arizona cities including Camp Verde, Sedona, Williams, Holbrook, Winslow, Cottonwood, Mayer, Seligman, Kingman, Page, St. Johns and more for over 30 years. Antol & Sherman, PC and their staff of lawyers would love to sit down and discuss your legal needs. Please call us at 928-241-6339, stop in today at Antol & Sherman, PC, 150 N Verde St Suite 102, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 or visit us at flagazlaw.com.

Other resources:

https://www.flagstaff.az.gov/1684/Bicycle-Safety-Tips

https://nau.edu/police/policies/bicycle-laws/

https://www.flagstaff.az.gov/1380/Bicycle-Program

http://flagstaffbiking.org/commute/free-bicycle-safety-training-citation-diversion-program/