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How to increase your visibility as a biker to motorists

Today's cyclists place themselves in danger every time they take to the roadway. While the dangers of sharing the road are well-documented, they have increased considerably in recent years, thanks to America's continued reliance on cellphones and GPS devices and the rise of related distracted-driving behaviors.

Even the most careful bicyclist cannot reasonably protect his or herself from all possible motor vehicle-involved accidents, and there are a number of steps you can take to enhance your odds of being visible to drivers. As a matter of common sense, avoiding nighttime riding is a good place to start, but for those who commute by bike, are in training for certain competitions or do not have the luxury of riding during the daytime, doing so is not always possible. So before you get on your bike and hit the road, consider taking the following steps to avoid becoming a statistic.

Don fluorescent or reflective clothing

Wearing fluorescent colors can certainly improve your visibility during the daytime, but it does very little to keep you safe after dark. Reflective clothing, however, does improve your visibility to other motorists after dark, and this is particularly true for those who don reflective vests, ankle and knee gear all at once. Many bike gear manufacturers are aware of the power of reflective materials, and they are therefore improving their supplies and coming out with new and desirable designs with the hope of enhancing the overall appeal of such clothing.

Avoid riding in blind spots

The dangers of a driver's blind spot are well-documented, and those dangers increase for bicyclists traveling around large trucks, which tend to have particularly large blind spots. As the name suggests, drivers genuinely cannot see certain areas around their vehicle, which means that even the most careful motorists are at risk of striking a cyclist if they are unable to see him or her approaching. Thus, it is largely the duty of you, the bicyclist, to make sure you avoid blind spots and to take even greater care in doing so when commercial trucks are present.

Consider eye-catching helmets

Anything that makes you stand out to drivers will diminish your chances of being a victim of a motorist-bicyclist accident, and that includes wearing striking, attention-grabbing helmets. Have you ever noticed that serious bicycle racers often wear helmets with spikes, eye-catching colors and other can't-miss elements? Doing the same can dramatically improve your chances of standing out to drivers with whom you share the road.

Taking these steps should reduce your chances of suffering an injury because of a bicycle-motorist accident, but even the most careful cyclists can still become victims when motorists do not do their part. If you have been a victim, you may want to contact an attorney.

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