Bike safety is important, especially when riding your bike in Las Vegas. Here are some considerations to have if you plan to bike your way around parts of Las Vegas.
Cycling in Las Vegas is Growing in Popularity
Cycling is becoming increasingly popular throughout the Valley, Las Vegas does not have the best track record when it comes to prioritizing the safety of bicyclists.
The organization People For Bikes ranks Las Vegas at a 48/100 for bicycle safety.
What Makes Las Vegas Dangerous for Bicyclists?
Las Vegas as one of the top three dangerous cities for bike riders—just behind Albuquerque and Tucson. There are several factors that contribute to making Las Vegas one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike.
- Drivers Not Accommodating Cyclists: Even though Las Vegas has more than 500 miles of dedicated bike lanes, Las Vegas drivers aren’t noted for being kind to bikers. Additionally, many drivers either aren’t aware of Las Vegas bike laws or refuse to share the road.
- Drivers Engaging in Risky Behavior: Along with drivers not following bicycle safety laws, risky driving behaviors are also a contributing factor to Las Vegas being dangerous for bike riders. Negligent and risky driving behaviors like speeding, driving under the influence, failing to give the right of way, driving in bike lanes, and texting while driving make commuting by bicycle dangerous.
- Construction and Infrastructure Changes: Las Vegas is constantly growing and changing, and with this comes construction and infrastructure changes. To meet this demand, roads in Vegas are plagued by almost constant construction.
- Unfortunately, active construction zones are often the scene of car accidents. Tourists that are unfamiliar with the area also add extra danger to bike riders.
How to Stay Safe While Riding Your Bike in Las Vegas
As the number of both resident and tourists bike riders grow in Las Vegas, local lawmakers have enacted safety measures and legislation protecting bicyclists in Southern Nevada. Even with these safety measures, it’s still important to remain vigilant when riding a bike. You can’t control what other drivers, pedestrians, or bike riders are going to do when on the road, but you can following the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition’s Las Vegas bike safety tips:
Protect Your Head
Wearing a helmet is the first and most important thing you can do to protect yourself when riding a bike. Bike riders who wear a helmet have an advantage of additional protection if they are involved in an accident. Make sure your helmet fits properly; it should be snug but not too tight. Wearing a helmet when riding a bike might just save your life and prevent brain injuries.
Attententive, law-abiding drivers can hit bicyclists due to low visibility. Increase your visibility both day and night by wearing brightly colored clothing, using reflective gear, and using front and rear bike lights.
Use Bicycle Friendly Routes
Staying in designated bike lanes can help keep you safe. These areas have lower speed limits, broader shoulders, and defined bike lanes. Visit the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) website to download bike maps.
When riding a bicycle, other riders and drivers can’t read your mind. To keep everyone safe, bicycle riders should extend their arms in the direction they will be turning at least 100 feet ahead of time. Before changing lanes, look over your shoulder and avoid swerving or darting in between cars.
Bike riders, like car drivers, should always drive defensively. Here are a few things you can do to ride defensively:
- Maintain a safe distance from the curb
- Yield to the right of way to pedestrians
- Make eye contact with drivers at intersections
- Stay out of blind spots
- Always assume other drivers can’t see you—even if you have the right of way
What to Do If You’re Hit by a Car in Las Vegas
Even the most cautious bike riders can get hit by a cart in Las Vegas. If you or someone you love has been injured while riding a bike in Las Vegas due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to considerable compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other expenses.