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Simple Steps to Improve Safety for Bicyclists

Residents of Austin know all-too-well how bad the traffic can be within the city. Even under the best of conditions, it can take a long time to make it across town. Major highways often can have significant backups that can lead to lengthy delays. If there are any car or truck accidents on the road, it can make an already difficult situation that much more challenging.

As the city continues to struggle with solutions to the traffic problem, many residents have decided to ride bicycles in an effort to help improve their commute. Unfortunately, more bicyclists can mean more bicycle accidents. With the start of school soon approaching, the Daily Texan has passed along some safety tips for bike riders.

Austin has specific rules in place for cyclists, and they should be familiar with these rules before heading out. Bicyclists need to avoid riding on the sidewalks while on the University of Texas campus or elsewhere in the city. Riders can receive tickets for failing to follow these rules.

While many streets have bike lanes, riders need to be on the lookout for any potential hazards. Parked cars could suddenly veer into the bike lane, or occupants inside of the vehicle may open the doors. Often, this can happen with little to no warning, making it difficult for the cyclist to make the moves necessary to avoid the accident.

If a rider does happen to get into a bicycle accident, a helmet can help reduce the chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Because a cyclist will often be the one who is absorbing the main impact of any crash, it is important to protect oneself against some of the more serious injuries that may result in a collision.

Source: The Daily Texan "Tips for safely riding bicycles on campus and around Austin" Jorge Corona, August 5, 2012.

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