There are a lot of good reasons for riding a bicycle. They can be a great form of exercise and they may save on gas if you use them as a form of transportation. But is riding a bike really worth the risk?
As a personal injury attorney, I have become aware of a lot of accidents recently where bicyclists have been injured, sometimes fatally, by motorists. Not only are bicyclists harder to see than a normal vehicle but so many drivers today are much more distracted. Drivers today are more preoccupied with cellphones, ipods, and other gadgets. The Arizona Republic has marked Arizona as one of the deadliest states in the country to ride a bicycle. While Arizona is trying to change that, in 2012, 18 bicyclists died in car related accidents and 1,464 bicyclists were injured in car related accidents, many of them critically.
Oftentimes we think that it is mostly children who are injured in bike accidents. However, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported that over 80% of bike fatalities and injuries occurred in adults over the age of 20. Very few bicycle fatalities involved children or seniors. Adult biking is one of the most dangerous recreational activities or form of transportation. Furthermore, in Arizona, many bike laws and rules are unclear or undetermined.
Before taking the bike out of the garage and inflating the tires, carefully consider the risks. If you do decide to ride, consider the following 5 ways to protect yourself:
- Become familiar with and obey the traffic laws. Breaking the law is not only unsafe but, it will hurt your chances of pursuing a successful personal injury case in the event that you are injured.
- If you have car insurance, be sure that Uninsured (UM)/Under Insured (UIM) and Medpay coverages are included in your policy. UM/UIM and Medpay will help you pay for your medical bills in the event that you are injured and the car insurance of who ever hit you cannot pay for the full amount. See my previous articles on the benefits of UM/UIM and MedPay coverage
- Always wear a helmet. Not surprisingly, your chances of being critically injured are much less when you are wearing a helmet.
- Ride defensively. As a bicycle rider, drivers are much less likely to see you than they are a motor vehicle. Ride as though no one sees or is going to see you.
- Use lights when riding at night. As a bicycle rider you are already hard to see. While reflectors help, they just don't cut it. Use lights for both the front and back of your bike when riding at night.
In the unfortunate event that you have been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, call us for a FREE NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION.