A beautiful day for a bike ride can turn into a nightmare if the cyclist and a motor vehicle collide. Cyclists have little protection from this type of impact, so the results may prove fatal or cause serious, permanent injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cyclists account for two percent of all traffic fatalities and injuries within a year. Many automobile drivers simply do not know much about road safety rules when it comes to cyclists. They often underestimate the speed at which a bike is traveling, and crashes occur.
Staying Safe on Your Bike
Sometimes, staying safe on your bike means avoiding riding during peak traffic hours and using common sense. NHTSA statistics show that most bicycle accidents occur in urban areas and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Males account for 88 percent of bicycle fatalities, and most are between the ages of 20 and 24.
Every cyclist should wear a properly fitted helmet every time they ride. If you are thrown from your bicycle, a helmet can save your life or lessen the threat of a permanently disabling traumatic brain injury. Always make sure the bicycle suits you, that it is neither too large or too small, or too complicated for your level of experience, and that the brakes work. Check the brakes before venturing out on every ride. Wear reflective clothing to ensure visibility.
Plan your route prior to departure and stay off major roads as much as possible. If designated bike paths are available, opt to travel on them for the sake of your safety. Distracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents, and it works both ways. Just as drivers should not text or use their cell phone while driving, neither should cyclists. Pay attention at all times and drive defensively.
Rules of the Road
Cyclists must obey the rules of the road. That means riding with automobile traffic, not against it. Cyclists must obey all street signs, speed limits, and road markings. Always signal with your left arm before making a turn and try to make eye contact with drivers prior to turning. When riding in company, always ride in a single file line.
Make sure it is legal for you to ride your bike on certain highways. In many states, cyclists are forbidden to ride on interstates and other heavily trafficked roadways. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal for a cyclist to ride on the sidewalk, and it is a practice to avoid. Sidewalk riding may give an illusion of more safety, but cyclists are vulnerable to people backing out of driveways or turning into a driveway.
Philadelphia Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Help Victims Seek Compensation for Their Damages
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Call us at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.