Tension between bicyclists and car drivers have risen steadly for several years in Virginia Beach, VA, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Bicyclists have been urging drivers to share the roads, and people in cars and trucks have argued that bikers show little regard for traffic laws, particularly keeping right and stopping at marked intersections. Some of the problems come from a misunderstanding about the purpose of the multiuse path along parts of Virginia Dare Trail in the southern and rural Pungo section of the city. The path functions as a sidewalk for skateboarders, pedestrians and cyclists, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Virginia law makes clear that bike riders have the right to ride on surface streets and also makes cyclist subject to most of the rules motor vehicles must follow. Still, verbal harassment directed at cyclists by motorists became actual sabotage in May and June 2011, when a Pungo resident repeatedly spread thumbtacks across a road favored by bike riders.

A bike accident can result in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and other serious injuries to the rider. To learn how to ride defensively, read our Virginia personal injury law firm’s Child/Teen Health & Safety Checklist. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Know and obey the traffic laws to avoid dangerous traffic situations. Bicyclists on public streets have the same responsibilities and rights as cars. They need to follow traffic signals and stop signs, ride in permitted sections of freeways, in the same direction as other traffic, and as near to the right curb of the roadway.
  • Learn how your bike’s brakes and gears work and keep your components in good repair. When the rear wheel skids, release the front brakes, and squeeze the front brakes.
  • Adjust your handlebars, seat and pedals for comfort and maximum control.
  • >Know how to fix a flat tire.

Besides following safety tips, educate yourself on what to do when an injury does happen.Our online library has many articles written by Virginia personal injury attorneys on what to do when a bike accident takes place.