5 Tips to Help Keep You Safe While Riding Your Bike
Safe Biking Tips for Your Ride
Bicycling is one of the most popular activities for children, adults, and families across America. Sources estimate that over 103 million Americans own bicycles, and upwards of 20 million bikes are sold annually. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased both the number of bikes sold and the number of people riding them.
For instance, the total spent on bikes during April of 2020 rose by 75%, resulting in $1 billion in bike sales that month. The astounding breakdown in purchases of bikes and their accessories looked like this:
- Leisure/lifestyle bikes: 203% increase.
- Mountain bikes: 150% increase.
- Children’s bikes: 107% increase.
- Bike baskets: 85% increase.
- Bike water bottle cages: 60% increase.
- Bike helmets: 49% increase.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, the number of accidents involving bicyclists has also increased during the pandemic. While no 2019 or 2020 statistics yet exist, 857 cyclists lost their lives in 2018. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 467,000 cyclists sustain injury each year.
Important Bicycle Safety Tips
Here at Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys, we represent numerous injured bicyclists each year. While we do our utmost to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for each of them, we’d prefer that these often catastrophic accidents never happen in the first place, especially to children. We, therefore, thought it would be a good idea to give you the following bicycle safety tips for keeping you and your children as safe as possible when riding.
1. Don’t Rely on Painted Bicycle Lanes to Keep You Safe
The results of a recent five-month study revealed that painted bike lanes do little or nothing to protect you from other vehicles. Specifically, the study found that drivers allow an average distance of only 3.5 feet between their vehicle and a cyclist when passing one riding in a designated bike lane as opposed to an average distance of 5.5 feet if the road has no designated bike lane.
2. Always Wear a Helmet When Riding
Helmets that comply with Consumer Product Safety Commission standards have been proven to be 90% effective in minimizing head and brain injuries. Nevertheless, studies show that only somewhere around 20% of cyclists wear helmets.
3. Stay Alert at All Times When Riding
If distracted driving is one of the major causes of motor vehicle crashes, it’s an even bigger problem when you ride your bicycle. Never talk or text on your cellphone while riding. Never lose yourself in music coming through your earpieces. Biking is serious business, and you need to be proactive in your own protection. For instance, watch ahead for hazards such as the following:
- Driveways out of which a car can back without warning
- Intersections in which a vehicle can unexpectedly turn in front of you or ignore a traffic control sign or light
- Animals, especially dogs, that can dart into the street or road in front of you
- Potholes and cracks in the road that can cause you to lose control of your bike
- Wet leaves or other road debris that can cause a slippery surface for your wheels
- Railroad tracks or other abrupt surface changes that can send you and your bike flying
4. Wear Proper Clothing
Always wear light-colored, well-fitting clothing and shoes while riding. This is no time for flapping sleeves or pant legs, and certainly not for flip-flops or sandals that give your feet no protection whatsoever. In addition, wear bright clothing that allows drivers to more easily see and avoid you.
5. Take Special Precautions At Night
Refrain from riding your bike at night unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to ride at night, wear clothing that’s reflective or at least has reflective stripes on it. Also seriously consider adding both a headlight and a taillight to your bike. Alternatively, install a battery-operated flashing light system. At the very least, make sure to affix reflective strips to your handlebars and rear carrying rack.
Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys takes pride in treating every client like a member of their own family because we understand that when your loved one is suffering they need a strong voice to help navigate them through the legal process and we won’t stop until we get the right result for you. If you need to speak with an attorney about your case do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to answer any questions you may have. The consultation is free.