Keeping an Ear Out Is an Important Part of Bicycle Safety

Posted on August 15, 2011

Keeping your ears open is an important safety practice for bicyclists, reports one news source.

Says a transportation planner, after the sense of sight, hearing is a cyclist’s most important sense as it allows riders to gauge their surroundings, especially what’s going on behind them. According to a 2009 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report, hybrid electric cars are more likely than traditional motor vehicles to collide with cyclist and pedestrians, especially at lower speeds when the fuel-efficient hybrids are more likely to be operating on electricity only. Running on electricity only produces much less sound than the operation of the usual combustion engine.

Many states have safety laws in place that not only require that cyclists wear a helmet, but also that they ride with at least one ear unobstructed. Often this refers to the use of headphones and music listening devices, so that at least one ear is dedicated solely to monitory the road and the immediately surrounding areas.

In short, staying safe while riding is both passive (wearing the appropriately fitting safety gear like a helmet) and active—keeping eyes and ears tuned to the road and changing traffic conditions.

As a Fresno personal injury attorney, I encourage motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians to share the road, practice general safety habits, and to be on the lookout for each other and unexpected changes in road conditions.

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