Get into Gear with Bike SafetyApril 18, 2018
Spring is here, which means the days are getting longer, the temperatures are slowly starting to climb, and people are beginning to resume their favorite outdoor activities. For many people, this involves riding their bike, either as a preferred mode of transportation, or simply for fun. Either way, it is a good time to take a moment to review some important safety tips when it comes to sharing the road with cars. A bicyclist is much more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a car accident than a motorist, simply because there is nothing protecting the cyclist from the impact of the accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1000 people were fatally injured in bicycle accidents in 2015, and the vast majority involved motor vehicles. In addition to the fatalities, approximately 467,000 cyclists required emergency medical care. Even a minor car accident can cause severe injuries if a cyclist is involved. To prevent serious, even fatal injuries resulting from a car wreck, cyclists should make safety a top priority at all times.
Bicycle Safety Tips
Whether a cyclist is riding on a busy city street, or a quiet residential road, he or she should keep the following tips in mind:
- Wear a federally-approved, well-fitting bike helmet. Cyclists who wear helmets are 14 times less likely to suffer a fatal head injury compared to those that do not wear a helmet.
- Make sure that the bike is the right size for the cyclist.
- If there is a choice between riding on a busy, congested road versus a quiet residential street, always choose the residential area.
- Make sure that the bike is in good working order, and that the brakes and reflectors are working properly.
- Cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists. This includes stopping at red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, and not using walkways.
- In addition to reflectors on the bicycle, cyclists should wear bright, reflective clothing so they are visible to other motorists, particularly at night.
- Cyclists should always get off their bike and walk it across a pedestrian lane. If an accident happens, the motorist is almost always liable for any injuries involving a cyclist.
- To avoid being hit by a car door, bicyclists should always maintain a safe distance between themselves and any parked cars.
- Adjust speed when riding on roads that are wet or slippery due to inclement weather conditions.
- Ride in the center of the lane, not off to the side, in order to remain visible to other motorists.
- Be mindful when sharing the road with trucks or buses. They have much larger blind spots than regular passenger vehicles.
- Do not wear headphones when riding a bike. Like motorists, cyclists should have all their attention focused on the road.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Bicycle Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident while riding a bike, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We understand how vulnerable bicyclists are if they are hit by a car, and we will take every step necessary to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for any injuries you may have sustained. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent injured victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.