- June 27, 2019
Bicycling is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to driving, especially in cities where people live within a bike ride’s distance from work and entertainment. Biking is an excellent way to exercise and often a more convenient option for travel. However, a bike accident lawyer says cyclists can be at risk of severe accidents, and the chances of an accident can rise during the summer.
Summer Accident Increase
Bicyclists are at risk for accidents year-round, but accidents can increase during the summer. With the warmer weather, a bike accident lawyer says bicyclists are out in higher numbers, which means they have more opportunities to become involved in collisions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents killed 840 bicyclists in the United States in 2016. This was an increase in fatalities from the prior year, when 829 bicyclist deaths occurred. Bicycle accidents represented 2.2 percent of all traffic deaths in the country in 2016. California had the highest number of bicyclist fatalities in 2016 at 147.
During all seasons of the year, according to NHTSA, most fatal bicycle accidents occur in the hours between 6 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. In the summer, 19 percent of deadly bicycle accidents happened during this three-hour time window. However, almost as many occurred during the next time window, with 18 percent taking place from 9 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
Prolonged daylight in the summer means that bicyclists are out on the roads for greater periods of time each day. Extended daylight also means that each time of day tends to be just as dangerous as the next. In other seasons, most accidents happen in the early and mid-evening. In the summer, bicycle accidents occur in similar numbers at most times of day.
How Drivers Can Prevent Bicycle Accidents
The National Safety Council reports that approximately 80 million bicycles travel on the road with motor vehicles in the U.S. Bicyclists have to share the streets with cars, trucks, and SUVs, but they are significantly more vulnerable to injuries from accidents. Both drivers and cyclists can do their part to prevent these accidents.
The far-hand reach, also called the Dutch Reach, is something the National Safety Council says can prevent many bicycle accidents caused by opening car doors. Each year, numerous bicyclists are injured or killed when they collide with car doors that people have opened into their paths. Usually, these accidents happen because drivers and passengers have not looked into side mirrors or behind them before opening doors.
With the far-hand reach, drivers and passengers use the hand farthest from the door to open the door. A bike accident lawyer says the movement created by using the far hand places a person’s eye line right within the side mirror and a person’s body positioned to look back.
Aside from this simple door technique, drivers should always pay attention to bicycles around them, particularly when changing lanes, and keep their eyes peeled for bicyclists when traveling or turning through intersections.
How Bicyclists Can Prevent Accidents
Bicyclists can play a role in their continued safety, as well. Cyclists should always wear helmets and protective gear and wear clothing that is easily visible, especially for riding at night. A bicycle accident lawyer says many accidents and fatalities can be avoided with appropriate attire and safety gear.
Bicyclists should also abide by all traffic laws, use hand signals to indicate turns or lane changes, and remain attentive. It is important to remember that cyclists are subject to the same laws on the roads as motor vehicle drivers.
What To Do If You’ve Been Hit By A Car
If you or a loved one was struck by a car while riding a bicycle, it’s crucial to get immediate medical attention. Then, call The Barnes Firm for a FREE consultation. We can put our best bike accident lawyer on your case, so you can be confident you’re getting the best result possible.
At The Barnes Firm, we’ll stand-up for the rights of bicyclists because we love cycling ourselves! Call one of our bicycle accident lawyers anytime or contact us online to get started with your FREE case evaluation.
The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000