Posts Tagged ‘bike accident’

Road Safety – Bicycles

Each summer we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. Unfortunately, there have been many tragic accidents in Buffalo and Rochester involving bicyclists and motor vehicles this summer. These types of accidents are likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities. Please use caution in sharing the road with bicyclists to help prevent a fun day from turning tragic.
Some bicycle safety tips to remember:

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet with the straps fastened.
  • Wear bright clothing and reflectors so that you’re highly visible to drivers, even during the day. You can buy reflectors, headlights, and taillights to place on your bicycle for nighttime rides.
  • Remember that on a bike you have the same rights and responsibilities as your fellow motorists, including obeying traffic signs and signals.
  • Ride with traffic. This is not only the law, it’s for your own safety. Motorists will not expect you to be riding against traffic, and statistics show this increases the risk of an accident substantially.
  • Do not wear anything that could become caught in your bicycle chain, like straps or loose clothing.
  • Signal your turns so motorists are aware of your intentions.
  • Remain alert as you ride. Watch for motorists who may turn or pull out in front of you, and watch for open car doors. Do not pass cars on the right.
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk. It is especially dangerous to re-enter road traffic from the sidewalk as you will be virtually unseen by motorists.
  • Make sure your bicycle fits you properly and is in good repair.

Motorists, please be aware you share the road with bicyclists and so you are also responsible for their safety. Use caution when driving. Be sure to check carefully for bicyclists before opening your doors, making turns, or merging into a bicycle lane.

I also encourage avid bicyclists to check the SUM (Supplement Uninsured Motorist) coverage on their auto insurance policies. This insurance will cover you on your bicycle as well as in your car. SUM insurance is supremely important should you get into an accident with another driver who is under-insured (or not insured at all), and generally it is not very expensive. If you do not own a car and cannot obtain SUM coverage, some insurance companies are beginning to offer insurance policies specifically for bicycles.

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Prevent a Bicycle Accident with Three Simple Tips

Spring is around the corner, which unfortunately means a surge in bicycle accidents. In 2009, over 600 bicyclists were killed in collisions on the open road, and another 50,000+ were injured according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); an alarming bicycle accident statistic for those who plan to saddle up their bicycle and hit the pavement as the weather warms. Many bicycle accident injuries are preventable. Below you’ll find some tips and preventive measures to take to assure that you stay clear of a personal injury.

1. Wear a helmet!
Easily the most obvious tip for any bike rider, but also the most important. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reported recently that 37 states require cyclists to wear helmets. The majority of these laws apply only to those under the age of 18. Another survey, conducted by the NHTSA, concluded that despite measures taken to increase bicycle safety, roughly 65% of bicyclists choose not to wear helmets. In 91% of bicycle collision deaths, the rider did not wear a helmet, according to the Institute of Highway Safety. Use your head, wear a helmet.

2. Pump your brakes.
Did you know that in many states, in addition to being a serious safety hazard, riding a bicycle without brakes is illegal? The cycle circuit comprises many types of bikes: single-speeds, 10-speeds, 21-speeds, mountain bikes, etc. A recent trend however, especially in highly urbanized areas, is fixed-gear bicycles: single-speed bikes with no traditional braking-mechanism. These bikes force riders to use their legs and feet to bring the bike to a halt, requiring an increased amount of focus and a quick reaction time. Save yourself some trouble and ride a bike with traditional brakes to prevent a bicycle injury.

3. Lighten Up.
This tip is especially useful for those night-crawling cyclists. If you take to the streets when the sun goes down, be sure that you’re visible to motorists. Wearable blinking reflectors are not only cheap and practical, but can also save your life. Clip one to your clothes or to the front/rear of your bike so drivers can identify you on dim lit roads.

Bike riding provides a great reason for you to get outdoors and enjoy nature to its fullest; keep it an enjoyable experience by following the tips listed above. Should you or a fellow rider suffer an injury from a bicycle accident, call an attorney in buffalo from a law firm with over 100 years of combined personal injury experience. Call James Morris Law, 716-855-1118.