Every bicyclist dreads the thought of being hit by a car, but these accidents are alarmingly common across the United States. In 2013, 900 bicyclists died and approximately 494,000 received emergency department treatment for injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you ride a bicycle often, there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic. Although you cannot control the actions of other drivers, proper maintenance of your bike can reduce the likelihood of crashing.
Before you hit the road, make sure you complete this 4-point safety inspection:
- Quick releases;
- And cranks, chain and pedals.
If you were injured by a negligent driver in Louisiana, contact a Baton Rouge injury attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. An accident lawyer will evaluate your case and explain your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for lost income, health-care bills and noneconomic damages.
Read on to learn about each step on the 4-point bicycle safety inspection:
Safer Car recommends that cyclists check their tires’ pressure and spin their wheels before every trip. The tire pressure will affect your bike’s handling, and a mechanical problem in the wheels could cause a serious crash.
You should also check your tires for wear and tear. Look for any damage, worn tread, and punctures from screws or nails.
Make sure your brakes are functioning correctly by spinning the tires and then applying the brake. Your tire should stop abruptly. If your bicycle has hand brakes, make sure the levers do not reach the handlebars when squeezed.
Finally, confirm that the brake pads are clean and straight. They should make direct contact with the wheel rims.
- Quick Releases
Some bicycles have quick releases to aid in the adjustment or changing of seats and tires. Make sure the quick release is secure and the seat and tires are firmly in place. Close any open quick release levers.
- Cranks, Chain and Pedals
Hold the crank arms and examine them for any sideways movement. If you can move the crank arms from side to side, you may need to tighten them.
Next, spin the pedals and cranks, and check that this action drives the rear wheel suitably. Shift through your bicycle’s gears. Make sure they shift easily from high to low and back.
Your bicycle chain should be free of rust or excess grease buildup. It should also have a thin layer of lubricant to make movement easier.
If the worst happens and you are hit by a driver while riding your bike, contact a Baton Rouge auto accident attorney from Morris Bart, LLC. An injury lawyer will gather evidence, interview witnesses and guide you through the claims process. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation.