Only 1% of all trips in the US are made on bike, but for such a rarely used mode of transportation, the number of bicycles involved in accidents is quite high. A study by pedbikeinfo.org showed that more than 48,000 cyclists were injured in vehicle related accidents in 2013. In 2015, this number jumped to 467,000!
Though cyclists can’t control their surroundings there are a few safe practices that can reduce the risk of being in an accident.
Routinely Check Your Bike
Whether you ride your bicycle every day or just take it for a spin a few times a year, you should inspect your ride each time you take it out. Conducting this quick inspection before takeoff should ensure your bike is in safe riding condition.
- Brakes – be sure they’re smooth and responsive
- Chain – this should be oiled and tight
- Handlebars & Seat – these should be securely fixed in place
- Front/rear reflectors – never ride your bicycle without reflectors on each end, wipe them off to increase effectiveness
- Tires – check for any cuts or cracks that could cause issues
- Wheels – these support your body weight so be sure there aren’t any loose or broken spokes
Always Wear a Helmet
Non-helmeted riders are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders.
Your helmet should fit snug with no wiggle room. The front of the helmet should be about one inch above your eyebrows and the chinstrap should be secured.
Riding at night can be extremely dangerous. Do your best to make yourself as visible as possible for drivers. Visibility can be improved by wearing bright clothing, attaching reflectors to your bike or clothing, and attaching a headlight to your bike or helmet.
Follow the Rules of the Road
- Ride in a single file with the flow of traffic.
- Follow all traffic signs, lanes, and markings.
- Look both ways before entering any roadway.
- Stay out of driver’s blind spots.
Lastly, but certainly not least, always stay alert! Most accidents occur due to inattention either by the cyclist or the driver.
Accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles can be catastrophic, if you or someone you know has been injured in a bike accident due to someone else’s negligence contact us today. An experienced personal injury lawyer will work to get you the compensation necessary to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.