Riding a bicycle is not just for kids. Adults, parents and families enjoy the outdoor life through non-motorized pedal power. Unfortunately, the unguarded nature of a bicycle can lead to the injury of young and old alike.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 677 pedalcyclists were killed and another 48,000 injured in accidents with motor vehicles in 2011. That fatality figure represents a nine percent increase from the year before. What can you do about it?
Like motorcycles, bicyclists are too often struck because other vehicles don’t see them. While being on a bicycle gives a rider the freedom to experience the environment, that same freedom can lead to deadly injuries when a rider is struck by a car and thrown to the road.
Keep yourself and your family safe by considering these suggestions for maintaining safety on your bike this year:
- Wear a helmet. In Alabama, children under 16 are required by law to wear a helmet. Adult bicyclists and motorcyclists can help protect themselves from head and brain injury by wearing a properly fitted helmet.
- Most bicycle accidents with cars occur at areas of intersection like driveways, entrance and exits from venues and in actual roadway intersections. Stay alert when traffic patterns change and where cars — or cyclists — could be turning.
- Heads up and ahead. Stay alert for traffic that does not see you and watch the road for holes, debris and roadway defects that might trip you up or tip you off your bike.
- Be seen. Wear bright colors. Affix reflective strips to clothes, shoes and bike and use a headlight.
Bicycles are a great way to get to work or see the sights. If you are injured on your way, get good legal advice.