As bicycling becomes increasingly popular across the country, it is more important than ever for motor vehicles and bicycles to safely share the road. Whether cycling is practiced as a competitive sport or is recreation on a family outing, all riders and motorists are encouraged to foster safe roadways. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over one-fifth of all bicycle-related fatalities occur to children between the ages of five and 15. From a sports perspective, cycling is responsible for a significantly higher number of head injuries treated in the emergency department than football. Whatever your age, consequences of cycling accidents can be life-altering. However, awareness of basic safety tips can reduce your risk of injury.
Always Wear a Helmet
Wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by a staggering 88 percent. TBIs can range from a simple concussion to permanent brain damage.
Helmets should be fitted properly, with only a small amount of space between the helmet and your head. It should feel snug, secured by the chin strap and buckle. Always check to be sure children’s helmets are worn far enough over their forehead for maximum protection. Older helmets may no longer fit current federal safety standards, so be sure to stay aware of the most recent safety materials and models.
Observe Traffic Laws
Because all motorists are required to understand traffic laws, following this common set of rules allows everyone on the road to know what to expect. Be sure to educate children on basic road rules, and check to make sure they are enforced. For adult cyclists, consistently observing traffic laws also helps to legally protect you in case of a collision. To avoid appearing negligent and to receive full and fair injury compensation, always ride within the boundaries of the law.
Practice Situational Awareness
Staying alert and aware of surroundings is a vital part of bicycle safety. Practicing and teaching children situational awareness will prepare any bicyclist to react swiftly and smartly to potential hazards. This includes using peripheral vision, looking in every direction before turning, and being aware of any unusual circumstance either in front of or behind you. While motorists have a legal responsibility to do the same, bicycles are one-seventh the size of the average passenger vehicle. A cyclist’s awareness of blind spots and potentially unsafe drivers are examples of defensive riding that may ultimately save a life.
Anything that makes a cyclist more visible contributes to a safer travel environment. Studies have shown that bright clothing made of reflective material substantially decreases the risk of accidents, since the more visible a cyclist is, the more time a driver has to react. Lights and reflectors are a requirement for night cycling. Again, utilizing these safety precautions will prove immensely beneficial to your case in the event of a collision.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. – New York’s Bicycle Injury Firm
Cycling can be a wonderful sport, promoting a healthy lifestyle and environment. However, bicycle injuries can be devastating, resulting in brain damage, paralysis, or even death. If you or a loved one has suffered a bicycle injury due to another’s negligence, it is your right to the money and benefits you deserve. At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we will aggressively protect your rights and prosecute the wrongdoers. Let us help you. We are proud of our 98% success record helping our personal injury clients get the money and benefits they were entitled to.. Contact us at Schwartzapfel Lawyers 1-888-575-6410 for a free consultation.