Riding bicycles has been one of America’s favorite pastimes since bikes first made their appearance during the 19th century. Not only are they fun to ride, but are an excellent form of transportation, exercise, and they are great for the environment. Nevertheless, no matter their benefits, there are a certain number of risks that an individual takes every time they put their feet on the pedals.
Even if you make the wise decision to wear a helmet, riding a bike is still a dangerous activity. You are at the mercy of the bicycle you’re riding, the roads, pedestrians, and the deadly traffic, all of which can lead to catastrophic bicycle accidents. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2015, there were more than 1,000 bicycle-related deaths and close to 500,000 bike-related injuries. Unfortunately, that number has only risen in recent years. These are the most common causes of bicycle accidents so you can be aware of them the next time you get on a bike.
Although there are a lot of dangers that bicycle riders need to watch out for, they also have the responsibility of being safe themselves. This means going to the appropriate speed, not weaving through traffic, and following the rules of the road as well. Riding around like a maniac, especially in a crowded or heavily trafficked, area is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, many cycling accidents can be avoided, especially those that are the cyclist’s fault.
By far, one of the greatest threats to drivers is motor vehicles. Bicyclists are essentially helpless against a fast-moving car or truck. Therefore, drivers have the responsibility of looking out for cyclists and giving them the right of way in order to ensure they are as safe as possible. So, if a driver is distracted and not looking for cyclists, it can lead to horrific collisions, sometimes even resulting in the death of the rider. This is not uncommon either, with an estimated 900 cyclist deaths a year as a result of accidents with cars IIHS reports.
Beware of the Weather
Just because you decide to not ride your bike on a rainy day or during poor weather doesn’t mean that everyone else did too. Whether it’s because they didn’t have a choice or simply wanted to, it’s not unusual for cyclists to be on the road, even in the most questionable of conditions. Because cycling can be dangerous even on a beautiful day, the risks are drastically increased in inclement weather. Tere is more likely to be hazards on the road, brakes don’t work as well, and both drivers and cyclists have less visibility. Furthermore, in bad weather, drivers are less likely to anticipate encountering cyclists, so they may not be looking out for them.
Although we mostly see this in movies, dooring accidents are a real threat to cyclists. A dooring accident is when a driver parks next to the curb and opens their car door in the bike lane without checking for a biker. This can result in a cyclist crashing into the driver’s door at full speed, which can lead to catastrophic injuries for the cyclist and potentially the driver as well. So, next time you park on the curb, triple-check to make sure there isn’t a cyclist before opening your door.
If You’re In A Cycling Accident…
If you’re unfortunate enough to be in a cycling accident, you want the right people on your side when it comes to the law. That’s why it’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer to make sure that you’ve taken care of and receive what you’re owed in terms of damages and compensation. They cover a wide range of cases ranging from bicycle accidents to the injuries suffered from them such as spine and concussion injuries and will help you through all of the daunting legal processes.