Take precautions while cycling

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wednesday, a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle while crossing a bridge by a hit and run driver. The victim suffered serious leg injuries and was transported to Forrest General Hospital for treatment, Assistant Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said. According to a witness, the woman was riding on the shoulder of the bridge when a gray Jeep Wrangler drifted onto the shoulder and struck her, Magri said.

An article by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states,“Bicyclists accounted for 2.2 percent of all traffic deaths in 2016.” However, there are several things bicyclists can do to protect themselves while riding on the side of a busy road.

Most of the fatal accidents quoted in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration article occurred because of various factors – such as riding at night and in urban areas. Nearly a third involved alcohol consumption, the report states. For optimal safety, the article suggests riding a bike that is the proper size, wearing bright, easily seen clothing, wearing a helmet and carrying personal items in some kind of backpack to avoid having to carry something in the hand while riding the bike.

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Mississippi law dictates that cyclists ride alongside traffic instead of against it, however it would be easier to avoid an accident if the bicyclist can see a car coming at them. Even though state law mandates that vehicles provide at least three feet of distance from the bicyclist, try to ride as closely to the edge of the road as possible. It is important to be focused and prepared to react suddenly if an accident appears inevitable.

Above all, when biking – especially in an urban area –wear the proper safety gear and check local laws.