Avoiding Accidents as a Bicyclist
Local 10 News recently reported that a bicyclist was struck by a Palm Beach County school bus on a recent Tuesday morning in Delray Beach. Fortunately, there were no children on the bus at the time of the early morning accident, which closed down the roadway for several hours during the crash investigation. Authorities have asserted that the bicyclist was seriously injured and had to be taken to Delray Medical Center.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle trips account for only one percent of all trips in the United States. However, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1,000 bicyclists died and there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries here in the United States in 2015 alone.
Additionally, keep in mind that these figures only include bicyclists who were killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to authorities. That means that cycling accidents that occur away from the road are not included. Many cyclist casualties are never reported to the police, even when the cyclist is injured badly enough to be taken to hospital.
What Are Common Injuries Suffered By Bicyclists?
Sadly, many bicycle-vehicle collisions are serious and others are fatal. Unfortunately, the impact of a motor vehicle hitting a human being can be catastrophic even if the vehicle is moving at a slow rate of speed. Due to the nature of these types of accidents, they can lead to serious and even permanent injuries. Additionally, some pedestrians will die as a result of their injuries, leaving their grieving families in a position where they need to pursue wrongful death claims against the driver. Injuries suffered by bicyclists can include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
How Can Bicyclists Stay Safer on the Road?
The good news is that you can help avoid being hit by a car or truck and finding yourself in a bicycle accident by undertaking certain practices such as:
- Being careful with electronics. While listening to music or a podcast while bicycling can help pass the time, you also need to be alert about your surroundings, so turn down the volume. If you need to talk or text, stop and use your phone. Be cautious when using phones and other electronics while actively bicycling.
- Dress appropriately. Wear clothes that can help a driver spot the person cycling along beside or in front of him or her. Depending on the weather and time of day, this clothing may include bright clothing as well as reflective gear.
- Follow road rules. The drivers of vehicles in the roadway are best able to see you where they expect you. That means riding in bicycle lanes. Additionally, adhere to traffic signals just like you would if you were behind the wheel of a car.
Allow Us to Assist You.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, understanding what to do next can be confusing and your legal options can often seem contradictory. A bicycle accident presents complicated legal issues that should only be handled by an experienced legal team. This is why many riders injured in bicycle accidents rely on the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. As the South Florida bicycle accident attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez, we have extensive experience with insurer settlement negotiations and we have successfully advocated for many others in similar circumstances. Begin by reaching out to us today.