Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. With the warmer weather, more and more people are out bicycling. It is a good time to consider bicycle safety and how to prevent bicycle injuries. Increased consciousness about fitness and the benefits of bicycling has led to a vast increase in bicycling for recreation and commuting. Unfortunately, with more bicycles on the road, we are also seeing more bicycle injuries and fatalities. Hospital admissions due to bicycle injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013.
Experts agree that cyclists can take some basic precautions to improve safety:
• Wear a helmet and reflective gear;
• Have lights for night riding; and
• Ride defensively.
By far the best means of preventing bicycle injuries and fatalities is for motorists to obey the Rules of the Road and exercise care when encountering bicyclists. The most common contributory factors attributed to drivers who cause motor vehicle collisions include:
• Failure to maintain a proper look-out;
• Improper turning;
• Failure to yield the right-of-way;
• Alcohol impairment;
• Travelling too fast for conditions; and
• Dooring (failing to lookout for cyclist when opening a vehicle’s door after parking).
With summer fast approaching it is a good idea to review the Rules of the Road and make sure you know how to keep yourself and others safe on our roads. Accidents involving bicycles typically involve more serious injuries, so it is absolutely essential for motorists to keep an eye out for cyclists, and drive defensively.
Attorney Terrence M. Polich is an attorney at Lawton & Cates. Attorney Polich is an experienced trial lawyer, specializing in auto accident cases, including bicycle injury cases. Attorney Polich is also an avid bicyclist.