Biking Safely in Sacramento

man orange riding bike through cityMay is National Bike Month, which is a month-long campaign encouraging people to consider bicycling as a transportation option. Biking offers many positive and healthy benefits for those who choose to engage in the activity. It is also an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient form of transportation that has increased in popularity during recent years.

In order to have a safe and enjoyable time when riding a bike, it is important to make responsible decisions and follow traffic safety laws to avoid a serious collision with an automobile.

Biking in Sacramento

Biking is a popular activity in Sacramento and many residents see the alternative form of transportation as a way to enjoy commuting through the city. Hundreds of people ride their bikes to libraries, stores and parks, and more than 4,000 residents regularly ride their bikes to work.

However, the frequency of biking throughout the city can create problems between motorists and cyclists.

Bicycle Accidents in Sacramento

In the last 15 years, approximately 3,200 cyclists were injured in collisions with vehicles in Sacramento. An additional 38 cyclists were killed after being struck by a vehicle during this period.

Most collisions occur between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., which are the busiest times of the day for commuters. The most dangerous intersections for cyclists with the highest occurrences of collisions with automobiles include:

  • Fruitridge Road and Stockton Boulevard, where 26 cyclists have been injured
  • North B and 12th Street, where 19 people were injured
  • West El Camino and Truxel, where 16 people were injured

There are also several residential areas and neighborhoods in Sacramento that have high frequencies of collisions between bicycles and vehicles:

  • Midtown
  • East Sacramento
  • Valley Hi
  • Downtown

If you reside in or frequently commute by bicycle through these areas, always be alert while on a bicycle or while driving any vehicle and constantly practice safe cycling behavior.

Tips for Safe Cycling

Since 2005, the number of people choosing to commute by bike has increased in the U.S. by an average of 46 percent.

As this number grows, the need for safe and effective cycling behavior has become necessary. These tips will help you cycle safely in residential areas:

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet and remember to replace it after a crash or heavy impact.
  • Wear tight-fitting clothes to avoid a piece of clothing being caught in your bike’s chain.
  • If you ride at dusk or night, wear bright colors and reflective gear.
  • You should always use two lights at night: a white light in the front of the bike and a red light on the bike’s rear.
  • Bike on the road in the same direction as traffic if there is no bike trail near you. Bicycles are considered to be road vehicles, and cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists.
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs as you would in a car.
  • Do not engage in any distracting activity while riding a bike, such as using a cellphone or electronic device.
  • Always ride in a straight line. This makes it easier for cars to go around you when passing on the street.
  • Stay on the right side of the lane. If the street is too narrow for a vehicle to pass, you can ride your bike in the middle of the lane to increase visibility.
  • Make sure nearby drivers are aware that you are near and stay out of his or her blind spot.
  • Always ride with both hands on the handlebars.

Use Hand Signals

When biking, you should always attempt to communicate with any driver near you to ensure he or she is aware of your presence and next intended action.

To do this, you should establish eye contact with nearby drivers and use hand signals to express your intended maneuvers before turning or slowing down.

  • To signal turning left, extend your left arm out straight from your side and leave it parallel to the ground.
  • To signal turning right, extend your left arm out straight from your shoulder, with your elbow bent and left hand pointing straight up. Your arm should form an “L” shape.
  • To slow down, extend your left arm out straight from the shoulder with your elbow bent and the left hand pointing straight down. It should look like the opposite of the right-hand turn.

Biking can be a very fun and fulfilling activity if you ride safely and act responsibly. Following these tips will help you safely interact with motor vehicles and help prevent serious injury.

Legal Help for Bicycle Accidents

If you were injured in a bicycle accident in the Sacramento area, a personal injury lawyer from the Arnold Law Firm might be able to help. During a free, no obligation consultation, we will review the cause of your accident and the actions of the other party involved to determine if you are entitled legal action to pursue compensation.

All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we will not charge you any upfront legal costs. We only require payment if we recover damages for your bicycle accident claim.

Call (916) 777-7777 if you have been hurt by a negligent driver.