Tacoma is a League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community, a distinction it earned in 2012. The state of Washington was number one in the state listings. So if you want to enjoy beautiful bicycle routes, Tacoma and the surrounding areas truly offer an abundance of beautiful – and friendly – bicycle routes.
Yet no matter how friendly a city is toward bikers, accidents happen. You may encounter a driver who doesn’t care about bikers despite being in bike-friendly Tacoma, or you may encounter someone who loses control of his or her car for any variety of reasons or you may encounter rough terrain that leads to a wreck.
So be sure you're wearing the right bicycle safety gear and follow safety rules and guidelines every time you head out on your bike. It could prevent serious injury and may even save your life.
Bicycle Safety Gear Requirements and Suggestions
While the state has no law that requires bicyclists wear a helmet, Tacoma is one of the cities that requires bicyclists of all ages to wear a helmet. This law took effect in 1994 in an effort to save lives and reduce incidence of serious injuries.
Other types of protective cycling gear to wear on your ride include:
- goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from flying objects such as dirt or to protect the eyes in a crash/fall;
- bike gloves to cut down on scrapes from hand injuries like abrasions and to keep hands warm in cold weather;
- brightly colored clothing so motorists can see you more easily;
- long sleeves/pants to protect your skin from abrasions in the event of a wreck;
- proper shoes that fit correctly and are made for bicycling so you can maintain good balance; and
- a red rear reflector and white front light so other vehicles can see you (Washington actually requires a white front light and red rear reflector at night per RCW 46.61.780).
Follow Bicycle Safety Rules and Guidelines
One of the best things you can do as a bicyclist is to protect yourself with the common sense guidelines, such as:
- yield to pedestrians;
- warn pedestrians when you plan to pass them;
- do not ride at a speed that is unsafe or with which you are uncomfortable; and
- ride in a single file in hazardous conditions (bicyclists cannot ride more than two abreast unless on a bike path or a part of the roadway designated for cyclists).
Bicyclists must also follow all of the rules of the road. This means stopping at traffic lights and obeying any traffic control signals. Bicyclists should also try to stay to the right side of the roadway if they are riding slower than the normal speed of traffic.
Call Max Meyers if You're Injured
Yet, despite taking all of these precautions and wearing the right protective bike gear, some cyclists are still in accidents and suffer serious injury. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a negligent motorist or other party caused your accident in the Tacoma area, contact Max Meyers Law to set up your free consultation. Call today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.