No matter how carefully you ride your bike, a bicycle accident may inevitably happen. There are more bicyclists on the roads than ever before, and that means there is more potential for bicycle accidents. Since 2000, the number of people riding their bikes to work increased by 60%.
Manycities have taken action to increase safety for bicyclists, including developingdesignated bike lanes and providing public safety information. Many othercities have not taken these steps, however, and bicycle-related accidents continueto be a problem.
Cycling in the Old Pueblo
Lastyear Bicycling magazine compiled a list of the “Best Bike Cities inAmerica;” Tucson ranked 24th out of 50 cities. The editors citedTucson’s extensive network of off-street bike paths and Tucson’s Bicycle Boulevard Master Plan, which aims to develop 193 miles of bicycleboulevards in the city, as positives. Theynoted that Tucson’s high fatality rate for bicyclists (six deaths per 10,000riders) prevented them from ranking the Old Pueblo higher.
Inspite of Tucson’s commitment to making the streets safer for cyclists, Tucsonhas nearly the highest rate of accidents involving bicycles in the US. In 2017 Forbes magazine dubbed Tucson the second most dangerous city for ridinga bicycle.
Bothdrivers and bicyclists should be aware of some of the most frequent causes of bicycle accidents. These include distracted driving (bothdriver and bicyclist), failure to yield to a bicycle, dangerous roadconditions, and riding at night.
Mayis National Bike Month, where cyclists celebrate the many benefits ofbicycling. But first and foremost, safe cycling is the priority for young and old.
Tohelp keep riders safe, Pima County offers bicycle safety classes that include Traffic Skills 101 and a bicyclemechanics class. Riders can also learn about the Pima County Bike Buddy Program that teams experienced riders with novicecyclists. The safety classes may include free bike safety items such as lights,helmets, and locks.
Thetop bicycle safety tip promoted by the National Highway TrafficSafety Association is to wear a helmet. Riders and parents with young childrenshould also ensure that helmets fit properly, because an ill-fitting helmet mayoffer little to no protection in the event of a fall or a collision.
NHTSA’sbicycle safety initiatives provide the following tips for safe cycling:
Tips if You Get In a Bike Accident
Even if you’recareful, you may find yourself involved in a bicycle accident. If injured, youshould know what to do in the aftermath. Consumer Reports provides some tips to help you know what todo in the event of a crash.
- Move off the road and assess your injuries. Theshock of the crash may mask what you feel at the scene; injuries may revealthemselves once the shock wears off.
- Either you or someone at the scene (if you areunable to do so) should get information from the driver of the vehicle,including their phone number, information about their car, license plate, andinsurance information.
- It is a good idea to take a picture of thelicense plate and the driver’s insurance card. Also get names and contactinformation from any witnesses at the scene.
- Call 911 to report the crash. If you areinjured, the police should come to the scene and prepare an incident report. Askthe driver to stay at the scene until police arrive.
- At this point you may not know the extent ofyour injuries and damages, so avoid accepting any offers of compensation fromthe driver.
- Make sure you write down the details of thecrash for yourself so you can remember exactly what happened.
- Depending on your injuries you may not need tobe transported by ambulance, but it is important to get yourself checked assoon as possible. Even if you don’t feel injured at the moment, it is always agood idea to get medical attention.
- Likewise, get your bike inspected to make surethere isn’t any hiddendamage that could crop up later.
- Talk to an attorney before making any statementto the insurance company, especially if you’re injured.
- Finally, read more tips to keep safewhen riding a bicycle.
If you have been injured in abicycle accident, consult the experienced bicycle injury attorneys at HollingsworthKelly.