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Bicycle Accidents: 5 Things That Cyclists Should Know

bicycle accidents

With the rising cost of gas, bicycle continues to be a viable form of transportation. Not only is it economical, but bicycling is eco-friendly too. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. Aside from saving gas money, you get to have plenty of exercise when you ride a bicycle. That is why throughout Arizona, you’ll see bikers cycling in its communities. However, cycling comes with its own set of risks too, especially when sharing the road with motor vehicles. As bicycle accidents can result in severe injuries and even fatalities, here are some basic facts that we believe every cyclist should know:

Bicycle Accident Statistics

We need to understand the scope of the issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, 966 bicyclists lost their lives in traffic crashes. This is in the United States alone, and thousands more suffered injuries. These statistics highlight the importance of vigilance and safety measures for cyclists.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

To prevent accidents, it’s important to be aware of the common causes. Bicycle accidents often occur due to factors such as:

  • Distracted Driving: Motorists using mobile phones or engaging in other distractions can fail to notice cyclists on the road.
  • Failing to Yield: Most fatal bike crashes occur to due poor visibility. Other motorists fail to yield even if the bicycle is in its right of way.
  • Right Hook and Left Cross: These refer to situations where a vehicle turning right collides with a cyclist going straight (right hook) or where a vehicle turning left crosses the path of an oncoming cyclist (left cross).
  • Dooring: Cyclists can be injured when a car door is opened in their path without warning.
  • Intersection Conflicts: Cyclists and vehicles often converge at intersections, increasing the risk of accidents if both parties are not cautious.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, and inadequate road infrastructure can be hazardous for cyclists.

Importance of Helmets

Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries during a bicycle accident. Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has shown that helmets are about 85% effective in preventing head injuries and 88% effective in preventing brain injuries.

Helmets may vary in models and sizes depending on their manufacturers. Thus, we suggest that you visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) website to check out its comprehensive list of helmet brands and sizes.

Advocating for Safer Cycling

Advocacy groups and organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists work tirelessly to promote cycling safety and advocate for better infrastructure, policies, and laws that protect cyclists. Getting involved in these efforts can help create a safer environment for all cyclists.

Bicycle accidents are a significant concern, but with awareness, precaution, and the right safety measures, you can reduce your risk of being involved in one. Remember to always wear a helmet as you are vulnerable compared to larger vehicles on the road. Obey traffic laws because your bike is subject to the same road regulations just like automobiles. Doing these helps you advocate for safer cycling conditions in your community.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities

In the event of a bicycle accident, you need to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. This includes:

  • Knowing who may be at fault
  • How to report the incident to the authorities
  • How to pursue compensation for medical expenses and damages.

More often, it is the cyclist who suffers catastrophic injuries during vehicle collisions. Therefore, you need to seek compensation especially if the accident is caused by someone else. That compensation will help you on your road to recovery. If you were recently injured in a bicycle accident (and you know that it is not your fault), please consult a reputable bicycle accident lawyer immediately.

 

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