Bicycle Safety Tips
Cycling is a fun, eco-friendly, and inexpensive way to get around while staying in shape. Unfortunately, the number of bicycle accidents and deaths in New Jersey continues to rise each year. At Fredson Stratmore Bitterman, our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is here to provide you with the compensation you need and deserve regarding your bicycle accident injury.
While some bicycle accidents are unavoidable, there are steps that the cautious rider can take in order to avoid injury or even death. In this post, we discuss several ways to stay safe on your bicycle. Whether you’re new to cycling or a pro behind the handlebars, these handy tips can help keep you safe on New Jersey’s busy roads.
Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet
Head injuries are one of the most common and serious injuries sustained in bicycle accidents. Injuries to the brain can cause debilitating and irreversible damage. While anyone riding a bike should wear a properly fitted helmet, this is especially true for young people. Furthermore, it’s the law; in New Jersey, persons under the age of 17 are required to wear proper headgear when cycling, skating, or skateboarding. If you have suffered from a traumatic brain injury as the result of a bicycle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Fredson Stratmore Bitterman today to see how you can receive compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial suffering.
Never Ride Against Traffic
It is essential that you always ride in the same direction as other vehicles rather than against traffic. Not only will this help you avoid potentially deadly head-on collisions, but it is also the law. New Jersey law specifically states that “every person riding a bicycle shall ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic.” Furthermore, “a parent may be held responsible for the child’s violation of any traffic laws.” Avoid traffic penalties and serious injury — always ride in the right direction.
There can be a lot of distractions on New Jersey’s busy roads. From high speeds to convoluted jughandles, staying alert and aware of traffic flows can sometimes be a struggle. It is important that you remain aware of any potholes, railroad tracks, or other obstacles that could make you lose control of your bike. You’ll need your eyes and ears in order to stay alert. Do not wear headphones, as this can distract you from dangerous and otherwise avoidable impediments.
While it is always important to be visible on your bike, this tip is especially crucial at night, when visibility is low. Wear neon and fluorescent colors to ensure that you are always seen. In addition, make sure that you purchase functioning lights for the front and rear of your bicycle in order to make yourself visible to nighttime drivers and other cyclists. Just because you can see a car or bicycle, it does not mean that they can see you.
Always keep both hands on the handlebars, except when signaling, and both feet on the pedals. Carry items in a backpack, bicycle basket, or pannier rather than a purse. If you’re in a group of cyclists, be sure to ride single file, and don’t allow your front wheel to partially overlap the bicycle another rider’s back wheel, as the rider in front may not even be aware that you are there. This can help avoid crashes.
Watch for Parked Cars
“Dooring” is a type of bicycle accident in which a bicyclist rides into a parked car’s door because the motorist, failing to check for oncoming traffic, opens the door suddenly. Doorings comprise up to 19.7% of all bike crashes. This number is likely even higher due to unreported accidents. This kind of accident can lead to serious injuries or even death. It is important that you always report a dooring accident, because the motorist can often be held liable. If you have been the victim of a dooring accident, call our passionate team of personal injury lawyers at Fredmore Stratmore Bitterman today to see how we can help you get the compensation that you need and deserve.
While following these safety tips could help you prevent injuries or even death, they do not always guarantee a safe ride. Distracted or reckless drivers or dangerous road conditions can still cause unavoidable bicycle accidents. In order for a bicycle accident injury claim to be successful, the defendant and their lawyer must prove that either reckless actions from another party or dangerous road conditions led to the victim’s injuries. It is important to note, however, that a cyclist can be found up to 50% responsible for their bicycle accident and still recover compensation due to comparative negligence laws.
For more information on bicycle accidents and how Fredmore Stratmore Bitterman may be able to help you, get in touch with us today. You do not have to pay us anything until we successfully resolve your case.