Bicycle Safety – It’s Everyone’s Job
It’s spring! Finally! More and more people are beginning to venture outside after a long winter, not to mention a long year. This means more people on the roads. It also means more people on bikes!
It turns out that May is National Bike Month. And lots of people participate then and year-round. They bike for leisure, exercise and transportation. In 2017, cyclists in the USA clocked in at 47.5 million people. That’s roughly 14.4% of the country’s population. That’s a lot! And the number of cyclists keeps increasing, as evident by the 2020 national bike shortage.
Is It Safe?
Generally, yes, but in 2015, there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries in the United States. Bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury than occupants in motor vehicles. This is due to a number of things: poor roads/infrastructure, lack of a helmet and, you guessed it – cars. Entire psychologic studies have been conducted on the dislike everyday people have for cyclists. Surveys show motorists report an antipathy for cyclists, many times regardless of situation or environment. A common misconception is that bikes slow down traffic. In actuality, bikes lighten traffic, as obviously less cars are on the road when they’re replaced by bikes.
How Can I Help Make Roads Safer For Cyclists?
If you are a cyclist yourself, the first step is simple: wear a helmet. Traumatic brain injury is among the most common cycling injuries. Helmets can mean life or death. They can be purchased at any major store and lots of communities do free helmet drives – keep an eye out!
Tips For Cyclists
- Abide all traffic laws, like a car would.
- Be sure your lights are on your bike and are working. Many communities have bicycle light laws. Follow them!
- Plan your route. Find the safest, best roads to ride on. We recommend using one of the several apps (Komoot, Bikemap, Bike Citizen, etc) to find the most cyclist-friendly rides.
- Wear reflective, bright clothing.
- Be hyper-aware of motorists.
Check the NHTSA website for more cycling safety tips.
Tips For Motorists
If you are a motorist, we’ve got tips for you too, and they might be more inward that anticipated. To be frank, calm down and slow down. A 2013 Adelaide study showed that in 4-out-of-5 crashes between cars and bicycles, the car was at fault. Another study showed the car at fault 87% of the time. Take a moment and consider the Portland study, showing that bicycles don’t reduce passenger car speeds by more than 1mph. Mad that there isn’t a bike lane so you have to share yours? Call your legislators and demand better travel conditions and infrastructure for everyone.
Reach Out To A Bicycle Accident Attorney For Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident due to a distracted driver, please do not hesitate to contact a Kansas City Auto Accident Lawyer at Smith Mohlman for answers to your questions or to get started with filing a claim. You may be entitled to compensation for lost work, medical bills, and other damages. Call (816) 866-7711 or fill out our convenient online contact form for a free initial consultation. Our team of experienced legal professionals is here to assist you during this difficult time.