Spring is only days away, and with warmer weather comes more bikes on the roads. Bike accidents can occur for many reasons, but when motor vehicles are involved, crashes are often deadly. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 818 bicyclists were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2015. Thousands more were injured.
To dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury or death on a bicycle, follow the tips below.
Always Wear a Helmet
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent. In fact, according to the Snell Memorial Foundation, “the number of bicycling head injuries requiring hospitalization exceeds the total of all the head injury cases related to baseball, football, skateboards, kick scooters, horseback riding, snowboarding, ice hockey, in-line skating, and lacrosse.”
Wearing bright clothing and gear will help motorists see you, even from blocks away. At night, you should ride with a headlight and tail light and wear a white helmet and clothing. If you don’t frequently ride at night and don’t want to outfit your bike with lights, you can adhere a temporary blinking red or white light to your clothing if you happen to be out after dark. But the absolute best way to stay safe is to avoid riding after dark, whenever possible. A MA bicycle accident attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle.
Tips for Drivers
Unfortunately, drivers of motor vehicles can occasionally get aggressive with cyclists. This is especially true in the spring, when bike traffic spikes. Although road rage is never a good idea, it’s even worse when a cyclist is involved. The lack of a safe enclosure can be deadly in a car-bicycle collision. Follow the tips below when you are driving this spring / summer season.
- When you pass a cyclist, give them several feet and pass quickly.
- Never honk at a cyclist. This can scare them, resulting in a serious accident. Don’t worry, cyclists can hear a car approaching, there is no need for your horn.
- Before opening your car door, always check to see if a cyclist is approaching. It is known as “dooring” when a cyclist crashes into a just-opened car door. Dooring can be deadly.
A Boston bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by a motor vehicle driver.
Bicycle-motor vehicle collisions commonly involve one of the following situations:
- A motor vehicle turning in front of a cyclist;
- A motor vehicle pulling out of a driveway or parking spot directly in front of a cyclist;
- A motor vehicle failing to yield at a stop sign or red light;
- A distracted motor vehicle driver;
- A motor vehicle driver’s failure to look both ways;
- A motor vehicle driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.