From the time the training wheels come off, cycling never stops being fun. Unfortunately, riding a bicycle is not risk free, and cyclists usually come off second best when they get into accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that — on a per trip basis — cyclists die at double the rate of motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified five common scenarios that lead to crashes between cars and bicycles:
- Cyclists riding against traffic;
- Cyclists entering the road in front of oncoming vehicles;
- Cyclists riding through stop signs or red traffic lights;
- Drivers turning across the paths of cyclists; and
- Drivers overtaking cyclists at dangerous times.
Unfortunately, defensive cycling techniques won’t prevent all collisions. If you suffered an injury due to the actions of a negligent motorist in Louisiana, contact a Baton Rouge accident attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Let’s take a closer look at five mistakes that often lead to bicycle wrecks:
- Cyclists Riding Against Traffic
A Hunter College study found that 13 percent of cyclists ride against traffic. This is dangerous because oncoming motorists do not expect cyclists to approach them. Rather, cycle in the same direction as motorists to reduce the risk of crashing.
- Cyclists Entering the Road in Front of Oncoming Vehicles
Cyclists should always slow down and survey traffic before entering a road. A cyclist who enters a road without looking may leave an approaching motorist with no time to avoid a crash.
- Cyclists Riding Through Stop Signs or Red Traffic Lights
Just like motor-vehicle drivers, cyclists who are riding on the road must stop when they reach a stop sign or red traffic light. The Hunter College study found that only 43 percent of cyclists stop at red lights.
- Drivers Turning Across the Paths of Cyclists
The NHTSA warns that motorists occasionally turn across the paths of cyclists. This often occurs when a driver does not see a cyclist. Bikers can prevent this scenario by wearing reflective clothing to improve their visibility.
- Drivers Overtaking Cyclists at Dangerous Times
Drivers should never attempt to overtake cyclists when they cannot leave enough space between their vehicles and the bikers. These accidents are common on narrow roads, and they often involve distracted drivers.
More Tips to Prevent Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
A bicycle crash can happen at any time, but if you ride often, it is particularly important that you are proactive about safety. Here are a few more tips to help you avoid accidents and injuries:
- Wear a helmet with a Department of Transportation or Snell Memorial Foundation certification;
- Never ride on the sidewalk;
- Ride in the middle of the lane rather than next to the curb;
- Take an advanced bicycle safety course; and
- Perform pre-ride inspections.
Even if you practice defensive cycling, you may still be involved in a wreck due to a driver’s negligence. A Baton Rouge injury attorney from Morris Bart, LLC will help you claim compensation for lost income, health-care bills and non-economic damages. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.