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Bicycle Safety: Ride to Avoid an Accident

By Evan L. Kaine

Whether it is automobile deaths, personal injury or wrongful death cases, our firm represents clients who find themselves in difficult situations. Another topic that has seen an influx in safety concerns is that of bicyclists. During the summer months, many individuals take advantage of riding their bike—but too many don’t break to think about safety.

We are asking anyone who plans on riding to work, taking a family bike ride or cycling for fun to gear up for safety. Approaching vehicles (even in the brightest areas) need to see cyclists. The Insurance Institutes for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that accidents in which a cyclist was hit from behind only accounted for nine percent (9%) of car-bike crashes. This statistic caused forty-five percent (45%) of fatalities. The IIHS provides ways to help reduce cyclist’s chances of getting hit by cars with five (5) recommendations.

  1. Day Lights:

For seasoned cyclists, they don’t risk drivers or motorcyclists not seeing them. They utilize LED lights that are visible even during the brightest days and shine during night rides. These types of daytime lights are extremely helpful as far too often drivers do not see oncoming cyclists or vice-versa. A simple reflection or bright light catches the attention of drivers and keeps cyclists from being hit.

  1. Clothing:

It’s a no brainer—wear the right clothing! However, many riders don’t think clothing is an essential part of safe riding. Avoid dark colors that make you blend in with the dark pavement. Always wear bright, reflective clothing so oncoming cars can easily see you.

  1. Mirror, Mirror:

Who is behind you? Who is coming up on you? Can you see them? If you are like the thousands of cyclists that don’t have a mirror on their bike—you need to change this immediately. Mirrors provide the cyclist a third eye and in most cases, the more eyes you have on the road—the better.

  1. Safe Tech:

Technology can be your friend if you allow it. While we don’t condone texting or calling while biking, we do hope you use the Garmin Edge Explore 1000 bicycle computer. This is a device that has a built-in accelerometer that detects a fall. The device can then call a pre-determined emergency contact when linked to your smart phone. This allows emergency personnel and family members to find you in a timely manner.

  1. In Case of Emergency:

Many cyclists wouldn’t think to ever where an identification bracelet because they usually have their smart phone with them. However, by having a bracelet that provides your name, address, emergency contact and pertinent medical information, it can be the difference between life and death.

Cycling is a great way to stay active, but it has its dangers if other drivers cannot see you on the road. Please take these suggestions into consideration before changing gears so that you can enjoy this ride and many more in the future.

Posted in Bicycle Accidents |
Published July 12, 2016
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