Regardless of where you live in the US, it’s possible that you see cyclists around as this means of transport is considered eco-friendly and healthy. Although most bicyclists are well aware of the dangers that biking poses and take necessary precautions to prevent them, bicycle accidents still happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 846 bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2019, which is 2% fewer than in 2018.
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Steps to Take When You Are Involved in an Accident as A Cyclist
When you get involved in a bicycle accident, whether you have apparent injuries or not, seeking medical attention should be your top priority. Whenever possible, it would also be best to collect as much evidence at the accident scene as possible, which will help you build your case if your accident resulted from the negligence of other road users. Additionally, ensure that you consult with reliable bicycle accident lawyers like Abels and Annes to have them evaluate your case and guide you on the best way forward. Working with skilled lawyers can ensure that you hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligent actions and recover fair compensation for the damages resulting from the accident.
Common Dangers to A Cyclist in US Cities
Busy intersections can be dangerous for cyclists since they are designed with the car in mind. In most situations, drivers making turns at a junction fail to notice approaching cyclists resulting in an accident. The best way to avoid accidents at an intersection is to slow down as you approach one. Additionally, wearing easily visible clothing can help drivers spot you more readily, reducing the possibility of an accident.
It may sound illogical that a parked car could pose a danger to a cyclist, but it does. Often, bicyclists have been knocked off their bicycle by a car door opening abruptly in their path. The liability lies with the car user in such an accident for failing to exercise due diligence when opening the car door. Riding slightly further from parked cars can be an excellent way of avoiding such an accident.
Weather affects the safety of all road users, with winter and seasons of high rainfall being the main culprits. When it snows in winter, maneuvering your bike can be a challenge even on the safest roads because the roads get slippery, increasing the chance of bumping into cars. The same case applies to seasons of high rainfall. When the weather is extreme, it would be best to avoid cycling altogether or, if you must, ensure you invest in non-skid bike tires and appropriate protective gear.
Cycling Is Getting a Lot Safer in American Cities
Although American cities have a long way to go in ensuring safety for cyclists of all ages, many of them are making a lot of progress through building protected bike lanes and enforcing safety measures. A survey conducted in 10 American cities by the American Journal of Public Health showed a 72-49% drop in cyclist accident fatalities between 2000 and 2015. The report cited Minneapolis, Portland, and New York cities as having seen the most significant reduction in cyclist-related accident deaths during that period. However, there’s still much that needs to be done by US cities in building protected bike lanes if they are keen on reducing bicycle accidents.
Putting It All Together
American cities are not yet at the place they ought to be in ensuring cyclists’ safety; however, significant measures are being put in place by the cities to ensure it is improved. Although cycling may be risky in most major cities in America, exercising due diligence while cycling in the cities can significantly reduce accidents.