Riding a bicycle is a healthy activity that can get you in shape and get you where you want to go. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous due to roadways that weren’t designed for bicyclists but instead for large, speeding vehicles.
In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that over 900 bicyclists had been killed and around 494,000 emergency department visits were caused by bicycle-related injuries. Many of these injuries resulted in the need for lifetime care and medical costs.
Bicyclists can be hit for a number of reasons. Bicyclists themselves may not be familiar with roads, could be injured because of poor lighting conditions or they may not wear helmets, which could prevent injuries to the head on impact.
Drivers are to blame, sometimes, too. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, talking to passengers, eating or performing other tasks may take their eyes off the road and not see a bicyclist ahead of them. Drivers who decide to drink and drive or those who are speeding or disobeying road rules also put bicyclists at risk of injury.
Bicyclists have a place on the roads. They have every right to be there, just as vehicles do. Bicyclists can help themselves stay safe by making sure they stand out. Wearing reflective clothing, using lighting on the bicycle itself and wearing a helmet can all be ways of staying safer on the roads, so injuries and accidents can be avoided. If an accident does take place, then victims should know that they have a right to make a claim against the person responsible if negligence was the cause of the collision.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Bicycle Safety,” accessed Jan. 19, 2016