Warmer weather draws cyclists out across the US, providing a prime opportunity to designate May as National Bike Month. While the goal is to promote bicycle riding as a healthy, fun activity, it is also a good time to offer some reminders on how to stay safe. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to reach out to a Baltimore County, MD personal injury lawyer right away. However, you may be able to avoid such incidents by following a few safety tips.
For Bicycle Safety, Stay Off the Phone
Many cyclists assume that the risks associated with distracted driving are lower when not in a motorized vehicle, but it is just as dangerous when you are on a bike. Texting, talking on the phone, surfing the internet, or taking pictures still take your eyes off the road. You cannot react to traffic conditions or maneuver to avoid an obstacle in the road when you are focused on your phone. If a call or message cannot wait, stop in a safe spot and take care of business.
Don a Helmet
You have heard it before, but the point deserves emphasis. Always wear protective headgear, even when taking short rides. Statistics from Helmets.org should be enough to convince you:
- Almost 75% of all fatal crashes caused a head injury for the victim;
- In 97% of all fatal crashes, riders were not wearing a helmet; and,
- Only 13% of bicyclists who suffered serious injuries were wearing a helmet.
Know the Traffic Laws
Many of Florida’s Rules of the Road apply the same to bike riders as other motorized vehicles. You need to become familiar with the ones that affect you, since they exist to protect your safety. Obey traffic signs, use hand signals to indicate turns, and use caution when approaching intersections.
Always Go Solo
Unless your bicycle is made to accommodate more than one person, do not bring on passengers when riding. Most bike designs presume one rider for purposes of the balance, weight, and stability, so you create a hazardous situation when you overload it. In addition, do not be a “passenger” yourself by holding on and hitching a ride from a moving car.
Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Bicycle
Before you head out on your bicycle for the first ride of the year, conduct a thorough inspection – or pay a bike shop to take care of it for you. If it has been in storage over the winter, it may need gear oiling, a tire fill-up, steering calibration, a brake tune-up, and other tweaking.
During the bicycle season, continue with regular inspections and engage in routine maintenance tasks. Keeping your bike in top condition will prevent it from being a factor in a bicycle accident.
Contact a Baltimore County, MD Personal Injury Attorney Regarding an Accident Claim
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent your interests. You may have the right to compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
For more information, please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to set up a free case evaluation. We can tell you more about your legal remedies after reviewing the specifics of your claim.