Thousands of personal injuries and deaths occur every year to Indiana bicyclists. When a motor vehicle strikes a person on a bike, that individual is likely to face a serious injury.
While it is impossible to avoid all accidents, bike riders can increase their safety by following laws and good riding practices.
Indiana laws that govern bicyclists
Chapter 11 of the Indiana Code covers the rules of the road for those who operate a bicycle. Overall, a person who rides a bicycle on Indiana roads has the same rights and responsibilities as a person driving a motor vehicle. Many sections of this code cover the safe and appropriate use of a bicycle. For example, a person propelling a bike must have a permanent seat. Also, bike operators must ride no more than two abreast on a roadway, and they must have lights or reflectors on the front and back when riding at night.
Bike riders must keep two hands on the handlebars when carrying packages. It is interesting to note that parents or guardians bear responsibility for ensuring children follow the Indiana rules of the road. Failure to comply with this code could result in a Class C infraction.
Best practices for avoiding injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides some commonsense guidance on reducing accidents for bicyclists. Bikers should follow these proven habits:
- Wear a helmet that fits properly
- Ride a bike that fits
- Ride a well-maintained bike
- Wear bright clothes
- Plan a safe route
Riders should always look out for motor vehicles that move erratically. Bike riders should always ride with traffic and should ride predictably.