I will be visiting Washington, DC and would like to rent a bike to tour the city. Do you have any safety tips for DC bicycle tourists?

Visiting Washington D.C. can be expensive. Most DC parking lots charge about $10 per hour. A one-week Metro pass costs $57.50 per person. A taxi starts are $3.25 for the first 1/8 mile. Each additional 1/8 mile is $0.27, but you will be charged wait time if traffic is slow. Renting a bike can be a less expensive option for getting around DC.

Capital Bikeshare offers three-day bike passes for $15.00. The Bikeshare program allows users to pick up bikes from conveniently located bike lots and use them for half an hour at a time. There is no need to worry about crowds, schedules, or parking. Simply leave the bike at one of the over 300 stations located around DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and Montgomery County and go on your way. When you are ready to go to your next destination, come back and take another bike.

DC is a bike-friendly city, but there are risks. Many bike paths cross busy streets and there are times when you may need to ride in traffic. Follow these steps to avoid a DC bike crash.

Eight Safety Tips for DC Bicycle Tourists
  1. Bring a helmet. Wearing a helmet is the best way to prevent serious injury from bike accidents, yet eight out of ten Bikeshare users don’t use a helmet. If you can’t bring your own helmet, check to see if your hotel has loaner helmets. DC has partnered with Kimpton Hotels to offer helmets to tourists who use the bike-sharing system.
  2. Follow the rules of the road. The Washington Area Bicyclist Organization has created a quick guide to DC bicycle laws.
  3. Be visible. Wear bright-colored clothing with reflective strips so you are visible to vehicles and pedestrians.
  4. Avoid traffic. Use bike lanes and bike paths when available. Don’t ride on sidewalks.
  5. Check the bike before riding. Make sure that the brakes and lights work and that the tires are properly inflated. If the bike has problems, choose another bike.
  6. Pay attention. Don’t wear earphones while riding.
  7. Watch for doors opening into your path. When possible, ride outside the door zone.
  8. Download the Lewis & Thompson accident app. This app can serve as a guide after a DC bike crash. It will help you get medical care, find a taxi and document your accident.

No matter the preparations you make, you may be hurt while riding a bike due to the negligent actions of a motor vehicle driver. When that happens, don’t shoulder the extra burden of paying for your medical care, lost work time, and forfeited vacation days. Call us to schedule a free consultation about your potential for recovery.

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