One of the best ways to get up close and personal with the magnificent vistas, culture, and cuisine of the Coachella Valley is by bike, but it’s important to take precautions to ensure a safe trip. According to the National Safety Council, close to half a million people a year are treated in hospitals for biking injuries, more than for swimming, trampolines, skateboards, and playgrounds combined! Proper planning and a heightened awareness for bicycle safety can greatly lower the risk of injury, paving the way to a healthy and rewarding experience.

Follow The Rules of the Road

You don’t need a license to ride a bike, but you’re still expected to follow all the rules of the road. In Coachella Valley, bicyclists are rarely ticketed for running red lights, blowing stop signs, and riding against the flow of traffic, but you’re putting your life in jeopardy when you don’t follow the rules of the road. California’s “Share the Road” law requires drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing, or to pass slowly when this is not possible. If you’re hit by a car that didn’t follow the rules, you should get legal advice as soon as possible from a reputable Palm Springs personal injury attorney.

Increase Your Visibility

All those bright colored bike fashions you see in the shops are designed that way for a reason. Wearing long sleeved jerseys with vivid colors that contrast with the creams, yellows, and browns of the desert, helps drivers to see you sooner and prevents collisions. It’s safest to bike during the day, but if your plans include cycling at night when it’s cooler, it’s helpful to add reflective gear near your ankles, on your pedals, and next to your wheels. Moonless desert nights can be very dark, so it might not be possible for drivers to see you in time if you don’t have bike lights. Adding lights to your bike can also help you see hazards on the road such as small animals, broken branches, and puddles.

Bicycling in the Desert Sun

Riding at night is dangerous, but riding in the desert sun presents its own challenges. Desertusa.com recommends carrying at least one gallon of water a day when bicycling in the desert and drinking it at regular intervals, never waiting until you feel thirsty. Using a hydration pack can make this easier to accomplish by removing the need to stop and make the water easier to carry. High SPF sunscreen should be applied to all exposed areas of the skin and reapplied as recommended by the manufacturer. Wearing a hat is a must. Even with all these precautions, summers in Coachella Valley can get extremely hot, so it’s wise to plan to be off the road for several hours during the hottest part of the day. This will not just prevent heatstroke – you’ll also be protecting your bike from flats caused by hot air to expanding within the tires.

Accidents Require Immediate Action

If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to take prompt action to meet deadlines and preserve evidence. Call an experienced Palm Springs bicycle accident attorney for a free consultation.

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Kevin Crockett is the founding partner of the Crockett Law Group based out of Palm Springs, California. He focuses on personal injury and car accident cases all throughout the Coachella Valley. His clients include victims of traumatic brain injury, nerve injury, spinal injury, fractures, and torn ligaments arising primarily from auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Mr. Crockett graduated from the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been named a Rising Star by Thomson Reuters three years in a row. kevin@crockettlawgroup.com and crockettlawgroup.com.