One of the first skills most children learn is how to ride a bike. Countless hours of enjoyment amid scrapes and bruises easily form some of our more unforgettable memories. Nowadays, however, biking is more than just for fun.
Benefits and Risks
We have touched on the increasing popularity of biking in the recent years in our previous article. Biking to work, a form of active commuting, can be economical. It can help you save on fuel and vehicle maintenance expenditures which on average can cost over $8,000 per year, $1,500 of which is for fuel. However, if you want to buy the best bike there is for your commute, and suit up with the best gear money can buy, it can set you back a fair bit; but not as much as a new vehicle will.
Aside from its being economical, biking is rising in popularity for its health benefits. Biking is also a low impact exercise, which means it is easier on your joints compared to most other forms of exercise. With proper technique, it is a good overall muscle workout. It also helps build endurance and strength, as well as in improving your aerobic fitness.
It is also eco-friendly. With rising levels of greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles, more people are choosing to bike rather than drive. From 2000 to 2016, the US saw a 51% rise in bicycle commuting. In 2016, about 12.4% of Americans or around 66.5 million rode their bicycles on a regular basis.
However, biking does have its risks. The most worrying of which is safety. How safe are you when you bike?
In 2013, there were 743 cyclists killed in bicycle wrecks involving motor vehicles. In 2015, there were a total of 818 deaths, 76 of those were caused by distracted driving. Over 18,000 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2016. A lot of the time, the drivers of the motor vehicles keep going, leaving the injured cyclists behind.
The human error made up almost 71% of the reported reasons for all reported accidents involving cyclist collisions in 2016. “Failed to look properly” was the most common key contributing factor in accidents involving a bicycle and another vehicle. Around 16% of fatal or serious cyclist accidents are caused by the cyclist losing control of their bicycle. However, many cyclist injuries due to road accidents are not reported to the police.
Personal Injury Claims after an Accident
Whether it was caused by an unseen pothole, a faulty bike part, or a vehicle, being in a bicycle accident can be a jarring and scary experience. This could also lead to the filing of personal injury claims if the situation calls for it. We have touched on bike insurance in another article entitled “What to Know about Bike Insurance.” To make the filing process smoother, below are a few important things to do when in a bicycle accident:
- Call the police.
- Obtain the driver’s information (including insurance information), as well as the license plate number of the vehicle.
- Document what happened.
- Seek medical advice.
- Document your injuries.
- Seek legal advice.
It is important to know your rights as a cyclist on the road. Not all states have comprehensive laws encompassing bicycles. However, in all 50 states, cyclists are required to follow the same laws as other drivers. Cyclists must ride on the right-hand side. At an intersection, if you do not have the right of way, you must yield. Always follow all street signs and signals. There may be a long way to go in establishing laws for cyclists, but for now, sticking to the principles that are the base for all US traffic laws should go a long way in keeping cyclists safe.
Have you been involved in a bicycle accident? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.