Cycling Safety Tips During Washington Winters

Categories: Bicycle Accidents

winter bicycling

Accident Attorney Fighting for Victims of Winter Cycling Injuries in Washington

Winter in Washington is not like other states. While there is snow and ice at times, most of our winters involve heavy rainfall and winds. Therefore, most Washington residents enjoy riding their bike for recreation or even for commuting – regardless of the season.

If you are one of the many residents who take to the streets on two wheels, there are a few things you must keep in mind to ensure that you are not the victim of an accident. While you cannot control the actions of others entirely, doing your part may reduce the likelihood that you are injured in a bicycle accident in the future.

Make Sure Your Bike is Prepared

To stay safe in the rain and wind, you need a bike that is in good condition, but also well-maintained. Some things you can do to prepare your bike appropriately include:

  • Ensuring your brakes are in working order. Check both the front and back brakes.
  • Make sure tires have adequate air fill, but also that they have the right amount of tread for winter road conditions. Having mountain biking tires on during the winter is best, because they have wider knobs to handle mud and debris on the roads.
  • Winter sees shorter days, so install a light on your bike, along with reflective gear, so that you are more visible to motorists.

Wear the Right Gear

Your bike is only half of the equation. If you want to be safe in the winter, you must also prepare yourself. Some things you can do to prepare include:

  • Wearing a helmet always. While it is not required by the state, your county may require it, and wearing one is good practice.
  • Wear a wind and water resistant jacket as well as gloves so that you do not retain moisture.
  • Layers are best, in case the weather changes during your ride.
  • Invest in winter cycling boots if you plan to ride a lot in the winter.
  • Always have an emergency kit on your bike, including a bottle of water, snacks, tire repair kit, chain replacement, and your charged smartphone.
  • If you can, bring along a change of clothes in case you get wet or muddy during the ride.

Tips for Staying Safe on the Road

  • Make sure motorists see you. If you are about to cross the road or through traffic, make eye contact with the motorists on the road with you. This can help ensure that they do not accidently enter the bike lane.
  • Use the bike lane as much as possible. While bike lanes are not everywhere in Washington, there are a good majority of them in the metropolitan areas. Therefore, any time you see a bike lane, make sure to use it rather than the road.
  • Ride opposite of vehicles. Instead of riding with the flow of traffic, ride opposite (but on the side of the road) so that motorists see you.
  • Learn the appropriate hand signals. You must notify motorists of your intentions. Therefore, learn the appropriate signals for cyclists and use them.

Injured in a Cycling Accident? You May be Entitled to Compensation

Even if you are the safest rider out there, sometimes injuries happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident with a vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn about your rights and explore your options, contact the attorneys at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, PLLC today. Our Washington injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations, so schedule yours at 800-925-1875 or request more information online.