Riding a bike is an activity enjoyed by many people for a number of reasons. Some people like to ride their bikes for fun or to exercise, and a growing number of people are cycling to commute to and from work, among other places.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 64% increase in people riding their bikes to work from 2000 to 2014.
While a diverse range of people enjoy riding their bikes, there are serious safety concerns for cyclists. The NHTSA reported that in 2015 there were 818 deaths due to bicycle accidents and an additional 45,000 cyclists were injured in pedalcyclist crashes involving motor vehicles.
With the hope that you and your loved ones stay safe while riding your bikes, we have compiled some safety tips below – especially relevant as we celebrate National Bike Month throughout May.
And although you may take safety precautions as a bicyclist, an accident is not always avoidable. Sometimes accidents happen due to no fault of your own.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, contact the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Cardone Law Firm for help. For over 40 years, our team of highly qualified attorneys has helped victims of bicycle accidents get the recovery to which they are entitled. Contact us today at 504-522-3333 or 1-888-89CARDONE for a free consultation.
Safety Tips for Riding Your Bike
The law considers bicycles to be vehicles on the roadways, and as such, they must follow the same laws and are privy to the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. This means that bicyclists have a responsibility to operate their bikes with caution so as not to harm themselves, other cyclists, or pedestrians.
Even though accidents are sometimes unavoidable, there are important safety precautions you can take to decrease your risk of being in an accident, or at least minimize your injuries in the event of an accident.
To help yourself stay safe, adhere to the following safety rules while riding your bike:
- Always wear a helmet and take the time to make sure that it fits properly.
- Wear protective gear (such as reflective coats and vests) and other clothes that are easily visible to motorists and other cyclists.
- Use lights, especially at night, to make yourself visible to other people on the roadways.
- Ride a bike that is the correct size for you. Riding a bike that is too big can cause you to lose control.
- Only ride with one person per seat.
- Always keep both hands on the handlebars.
- Carry items in a backpack or carrier, not your hands.
- Tuck in shoelaces and other items that can get caught in wheels and spokes.
- Ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws, including gesturing for turns, yielding, and stopping at lights and stop signs.
- Ride aggressively to protect yourself. Assume that motorists and other cyclists do not see you.
- Watch for pedestrians and yield the right of way to them.
- Slow down when there are any potential hazards, such as a car backing up.
- Do not text, listen to music, or do anything that will divert your attention from the road.
Following these safety precautions will hopefully ensure that you are able to enjoy bicycling without being in an accident.
However, accidents do happen. If you are a bicyclist and involved in an accident, there are two things you must do right away:
- Get medical attention immediately.
- Contact the police to file a report, just as you would if you were in a motor vehicle accident.
Following these steps will help you with a future legal claim to get the recovery you deserve for any injuries or damages.
If you are a pedestrian who is hit by a bicycle, you may also be entitled to compensation. Remember that bicyclists must follow the same rules as motor vehicles, and they have the same responsibility to operate their bike with due care and precaution so as not to harm others when they are riding on roadways.
Contact the trustworthy and dedicated New Orleans personal injury attorneys of the Cardone Law Firm today if you’ve been injured in bicycle-motor vehicle accident.
While it is our hope that you will always be safe while riding your bike, we understand that accidents do happen. The highly qualified attorneys at Cardone Law Firm have been representing victims in bike accident cases in New Orleans and the surrounding areas for decades. We have a long history with the community of New Orleans, and we see each victim who walks through the door as a valued member of the community, not just as a client.
At Cardone Law Firm, you will be treated with respect and compassion. We understand that being in a bicycle accident is a traumatic experience that can leave you and your family suffering from many consequences, including ongoing medical treatment, lost time at work, and lost time with family and friends. You do not have to go through this difficult period alone. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, contact Cardone Law Firm today at 504-522-3333 or 1-888-89CARDONE for help.