Bike injuries happen far too often on our roads.
Bikes are a lot of fun, and a great way to get outside, commute, or just get some exercise. But if you aren’t careful, a spin on a bike could land you in the hospital — or even result in a fatal injury.
In 2009 alone, 630 people died as a result of bike accidents, and another 51,000 people were injured. These facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are startling, as they demonstrate that this seemingly-safe activity can actually be very dangerous.
Causes of fatal bike accidents include hazards on the road (such as potholes or uneven pavement) and reckless behavior of the car driver and/or cyclist. While not all accidents can be prevented, taking basic safety precautions can help reduce the risk of an accident and maybe even prevent them altogether.
There are many different types of common bike injuries, ranging from contusions, road rash, sprains, strains and broken bones. Traumatic brain injuries can often result from crashes involving blows to the head, which may lead to concussions or other serious medical conditions. Tragically, bike accidents may also end in death.
When it comes to riding a bike, it’s important to learn the basic rules and laws of the area where you live. You should always obey all traffic signals and signs, and ride in the same direction as other traffic. Ride on the side of the road (close to the curb but not on the sidewalk). Being on the sidewalk with a bike can increase the risk of running into a pedestrian or running into an obstacle that wouldn’t be present on a road. If you’re under 18, you will likely be required to wear a helmet, but it is a good idea for every cyclist to wear a helmet and other protective gear whenever possible.
Avoiding Road Hazards
When biking on the road, it is critically important to not just be aware of the cars and other bikes around you, but to pay attention to the road itself. Poor road conditions can lead to serious injuries or even death, which is why bikers should always be mindful of the following items:
- Potholes: these holes in a road are caused by both weather and heavy traffic. If they aren’t repaired, they can throw you off balance and send you flying from your bike. Be especially wary of potholes filled with water, as you may not be able to judge just how deep they are.
- Sewer grates: these grates are present along most roadways, and can present a danger if your bike wheels get caught in them. This is particularly dangerous if a grate isn’t closely fitted and causes you to fall from your bike.
- Shoulders: if you are riding on the road and there isn’t a bike lane, you may be forced to ride along the shoulder to avoid traffic. Rumble strips, loose gravel and other dangers can cause accidents. If you must ride on the shoulder, be aware of its condition to avoid falling.
- Slippery Spots: leaves, oil, paint, and other materials can lead to slick spots on pavement, which can cause your tires to slip and you to fall. Look ahead as you bike to be sure that you aren’t heading towards anything that can lead to an accident.
Being aware of these road hazards can help prevent a serious accident while you’re out and about on your bike. If you are injured in a fall, know that you may have legal options, including the right to sue the state or local government responsible for maintaining the road. Contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker as soon as possible after a bike accident at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to explore your options for filing a lawsuit for your injuries. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!