Bicycling is becoming a more popular form of transportation nowadays for a plethora of reasons. One apparent reason for biking is the increased cost of living and gas prices. Another reason could be to protect the environment from further pollution. Some people bike ride as a recreational exercise. No matter the preference for biking, it still poses life-threatening risks that riders need to be aware of. Understanding the statistics and safety precautions will help riders avoid fatal accidents.
Following Safety Precautions
Bicycles are often considered a vehicle on the road and must follow the same rules as motor vehicles. This means bicyclists must obey all street signs and traffic lights, which will help reduce the risk of injuries or death.
There are several ways to avoid crashes. The first step is to be prepared before riding on the road. This means making sure the bike is the right size, making sure the bike works, wearing equipment for protection and noticeability, making sure there’s one person per seat, carrying miscellaneous items in a backpack, tucking in shoelaces, and planning the safest route.
It’s also important to pay attention while riding on the road. This means no using cellphones for any reason.
Thirdly, driving predictably will help avoid accidents. Riders must ride in a way that shows drivers their intent such as riding in the same direction as the rest of traffic as well as checking for pedestrians or cars coming out of driveways.
Finally, take the time to fine tune your riding skills. Although riding a bike looks easy, it requires practice just like any other skill. The more practice a biker has, the safer the road will be.
Although these recommendations seem like common sense, not all bikers remember to practice them. In 2016, 840 bicyclists were hit by cars and killed. The accidents occurred mainly at night, and in some cases, alcohol was involved.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), states that men between the ages of 50-59 are the most common victims of bicycle accidents. The CDC continues to state that males are six times more likely to experience death from bicycle accidents, and four times more likely to endure injuries from bicycle accidents than females.
Bicycle injury and death awareness will make future bicyclists more prone to following the safety precautions listed above.
Even though the bicycle death rate appears to be low in comparison to other vehicle-related deaths, thousands of people suffer from bicycle-related injuries every year. According to an article on The Active Times, the eight most common bicycle injuries are knee pain, lower back pain, Achilles tendonitis, muscle tightness, saddle sores, foot numbness, muscle fatigue, and neck pain. The article goes on to state that most injuries are a result of high speed and poor posture. Some injuries progress over time while others can happen instantly from a collision. The article offers some suggestions for treating the injuries. For knee pain, making sure the cleats are correctly positioned will help avoid that issue. For lower back pain, making sure the back is straight while riding will decrease the pain. For Achilles tendonitis, making sure the saddle isn’t too high will help avoid contraction of the calf muscles. For muscle tightness, stretching will help relax the muscles. For saddle sores, wearing the correct shorts and applying cream will clear up the skin. For foot numbness, avoiding riding up too many hills and making sure shoes aren’t too tight will help resolve that issue. For muscle fatigue, a massage will help relieve the muscles. For neck pain, relaxing the shoulders and riding with correct posture will eliminate the tension.
Although riding a bike looks easy, there are risks to take into consideration and safety precautions to abide by when choosing to ride. Understanding that a bicycle is considered a vehicle on the road and that riders must follow all the same traffic laws could help prevent tragic accidents from happening. Many factors affect the odds of an accident occurring. However, being as equipped as possible will always help to save a life.
Contact Our Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyers
At JD Haas and Associates, our Minnesota personal injury lawyers have years of experience getting people the compensation they need to move forward in their lives following a bicycle-related injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.