Spring is here and so is bicycle-riding season. After winter, everyone is excited to get outside in the warmer weather. Unfortunately, with the nicer weather comes news of accidents associated with increased pedestrian and biking traffic.
Last fall, a Massachusetts college student was riding her bicycle in the designated bike lane when another student drove his car through an intersection, cutting her off. The young woman was thrown onto the hood of the car, smashing her head into the windshield. She was not wearing a bike helmet.
Police responding to the non-fatal accident expressed concern at the number of people who fail to wear helmets when biking. Bikers are always at some degree of risk of serious injury when they share roads with automobiles. Following some simple safety rules can help make a difference.
Bicycle Safety Tips
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as motorized vehicles and motorcycles:
- Follow the same traffic rules as motorized vehicles
- Ride with traffic, not against it
- Use hand signals so drivers know your intentions
- Respect all traffic signals
- Look behind you, as well as to the left and right, before proceeding through an intersection
- Use a bike light and reflective clothing when visibility is low
- Wear a helmet
- Teach and model good biking behavior
Bike riders are always the losers in accidents with cars. If you sustain an injury in a bicycle accident with a car, do your best to obtain insurance information from the driver of the car and contact information from any witnesses to the accident. Consult a lawyer experienced with bike and car accidents as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.