May is National Bike Month. Over the years, more and more people have taken up biking as both a form of exercise and transportation. As bike traffic increases on the roads, unfortunately so do bike accidents. According to the CDC, in 2013 over 900 bicyclists were killed on American roads. Knowing how to prevent bike accidents could save 500,000 people yearly from a visit the emergency room.
The blame for these accidents can be attributed to both driver of the car and rider of the bike. Each is responsible for the control of his/her vehicle (be it bicycle or car) and as such there are several safety measures that can be taken to lessen the risk of being involved in a bicycle/car-related accident. We’re going to look at several methods to prevent bike accidents and keep both the bicyclist and the motorist safe.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommends that bike riders take precautions prior to getting on the road. They have compiled a list of common sense safety measures that could help prevent bike accidents:
While a bicyclist cannot control the actions of the cars on the road, there are several safety measures they can take while riding to prevent a bike accident:
As a motorist, it is your responsibility to have complete control of your vehicle at all times. Distracted driving is the number one cause of auto accidents in the United States. Paying attention to the surrounding area you’re driving in is the best way to prevent bike accidents. The NHTSA suggests the following safety precautions for motorists to prevent bike accidents:
Even if you don’t feel that you have been injured, it’s always best to get a police report. Your body might be full of adrenaline and you may not notice any injuries until for hours or days after the accident.
After the police or other emergency responders have been notified, try to document as much of the scene of the accident as possible. Using your cell phone, take as many pictures of the accident scene as possible.
Be sure to get the names and phone numbers of potential witnesses. If an insurance company contacts you, do not speak to them until you have spoken to an attorney. Your statements could be used against you by the insurance company.
While mitigation efforts can help, it’s impossible to completely prevent bike accidents. If you’ve been in an accident make sure you contact a qualified attorney. At Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, we work exclusively with personal injury claims as well as help cyclists who have had traumatic and serious injuries.
Our EPIC attorneys have the experience and resources to help your injury case. We have helped many people throughout the state of Washington over the years with their bicycle accident cases. Give us a call for a free consultation and let us help you get back on your bike and on the road to recovery.