Bicyclist Safety: Is It Too Risky to Travel on Two Wheels?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Those who are interested in riding a bicycle as means of transportation, may wonder if the benefits are worth the potential risks. It is not uncommon to hear about a tragic accident that involved a car driver and bicyclist, where in most cases the rider sustained the very worst of the injuries. The fact is, when put up against the tough exterior of a car, the human body just doesn’t have much of a chance at coming out of that impact unscathed.

One of the major ways that bicyclists can feel more comfortable traveling on two wheels, is by practicing safety. Here is a list of ways that a bicyclist can help lessen their chances of being hit by a car driver when sharing the road:

  • The size of the bicycle should be appropriate in correlation to the rider’s size. Handlebars and seating must be adjusted as needed for easy maneuvering.
  • A helmet that is federally-approved for safety must be worn at all times. Those who not wear helmets are significantly more likely to endure head injuries that can turn fatal, compared to those who have head protection.
  • Bicyclists should learn how to use hand signals and move through traffic as if they were any other motorist. For example, bicyclists must also wait for a green light at an intersection, use their hand to signal, and halt at stop signs before moving through.
  • Regular maintenance should be done on the bicycle, and brakes or reflectors examined before each ride.
  • If possible, a bicyclist should opt to ride among residential areas instead of busy highways or city streets.
  • Bicyclists must create a safe distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead.
  • Refrain from wearing headphones or using a cell device that may distract from the road, honks, an ambulance, or other warnings. All bicyclists must maintain consistent focus and alertness to what is going on in their surroundings.
  • Bicyclists can use the entire lane, not the far side of the street, to help make themselves more visible to car drivers.
  • Being wary of trucks or buses as these types of vehicles have larger blind spots than passenger cars.

What To Do If An Accident Happens

Unfortunately, bicyclists are still at-risk for being hit by a car even if they take safety into consideration. This is because the one main variable which cannot be controlled, is how a car driver chooses to operate his or her vehicle. In the event of a bicyclist accident, call 911 for help and get evaluated by an ambulance team. Handle the scene just as if it was a car accident that happened, such as getting the driver’s information, requesting a police report, seeing a doctor, and then consulting with an attorney about your legal options.

A bicyclist can seek financial compensation for medical bills and damages from the car driver at-fault, through filing a civil lawsuit. The costs for injuries associated with bicycle accidents can be steep, so meeting with a personal injury lawyer Charlottesville, VA relies on for guidance is a pivotal step in recovering both physically and financially from the incident.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and the risks of riding a bicycle.