Whenever you take your bike out and ride the busy streets of Indiana, it is never a bad idea to remind yourself of the basic rules of safety. Becoming complacent or too confident with your cycling skills may create a liability if you are faced with a sudden hazard on your ride. Whether you are looking for a brief refresher or you are new to the world of cycling, it is imperative that you are aware of some general safety tips.
When you are out and about driving around town, chances are your first indication is to pay attention to the other vehicles on the road. By watching what they are doing and being observant to their movement, you are able to navigate safely to your destination. Sometimes, you may become so caught up in watching other cars that you fail to notice other, smaller objects like pedestrians or bicyclists. At Doane Law Office, LLC, we have helped many drivers in Indiana to avoid collisions through awareness and education.
Wearing a helmet for every bicycle ride on the roads of Indiana is an essential part of being a safe cyclist. Another aspect of being prepared for a traffic crash is knowing what to do if one happens.
Each year, many bicyclists are injured or even killed when they are struck by vehicles. Some bicyclists are injured off the road, of course, but many are hit by negligent drivers who are either drunk, distracted, going over the speed limit, or simply ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel. An injured bicyclist may struggle in many ways following a collision, whether they are immobilized for a period of time or the rest of their life, struggle paying hospital costs, or have emotional trauma from the incident. As a result, it is important for bicyclists and drivers to focus on preventing these accidents and understand the magnitude of this problem.
Although bicycles generally move at speeds considerably slower than vehicle traffic on Indiana roadways, cyclists have the right to ride in the vehicle lane, and they are subject to all the rules of vehicle traffic. Motorists who "get stuck" behind a bicycle in traffic may be impatient waiting for a chance to pass. Unfortunately, many of them may attempt to squeeze by when there is traffic in the oncoming lane. This puts the cyclist at high risk for a sideswipe or other collision.
For many people in Indiana, bicycles provide a convenient mode of transportation that requires relatively little maintenance and saves on money. For others, riding their bicycle is an enjoyable hobby and a great form of exercise. However, all bicyclists are at risk of serious injury if they are hit by a vehicle. Often, bicycle accidents happen so suddenly, it leaves the rider with little time to react and find protection. While many cyclists take active precautions to wear the right clothing, follow the laws and practice vigilance, there are times when a collision is unavoidable.
Recent years have seen many in Jeffersonville take to the streets on bicycles. Whether as a less-expensive method of transportation or a tool to help improve your physical fitness, a bicycle can provide you with years of enjoyment. Yet as many of those that we here at the Doane Law Office, LLC have worked with can attest to, bikes also provide little in the way of protection in an accident. A common claim heard from motorists when they strike bicyclists is that the bike riders suddenly darted out in front of their cars without giving any warning. Thus, it is imperative that you understand how to communicate your intentions while on the road to both ensure your own safety and to be able to answer motorists who make such claims.
When a bicyclist is struck by a vehicle, the suffering brought on by the accident may disrupt their lives and those who are close to them. People often recognize that the loss of life and serious injuries are an unfortunate aspect of bike wrecks. However, it is also vital to keep in mind the other consequences that victims may face. If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, you could be going through these difficulties on a personal level.
You may be looking forward to leaving your car behind and taking on the city on two wheels as Indiana works to make roadways across the state more bicycle friendly. In many areas, this includes bike lanes, but do these routes dedicated to cyclists really improve your safety?
Although government agencies do collect and analyze annual data regarding bicycle accidents in Indiana and nationally, one study indicates that the information may not be completely accurate. The League of American Bicyclists conducted its own research into the causes of cycling accidents, and through analysis of both official reported data and media and outreach accounts, discovered a number of alarming statistics.