How to Prevent Summertime Bike Accidents

As the months grow warmer and outdoor activities become safe again, bicyclists will be out-of-doors cycling for recreation, exercise, and fun. Riding a bike is quite enjoyable, and many cities use this as a key mode of transportation. As more people opt for their bike over their car this summer, it’s essential to keep in mind that this activity can be potentially deadly if safety precautions aren’t followed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s recent report shows that bike accident fatalities in 2018 increased 6.3% from 2017, even as the total number of motor vehicle fatalities decreased by 2.4% compared to the year before. Bike accident deaths in 2018 totaled at 857 – the highest they’d been since 1990, which recorded 859. With these facts in mind, The Barnes Firm’s best bicycle accident lawyers in Manhattan say it’s important that everyone learn how to avoid and prevent summertime bike accidents.

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What are Common Types of Bike Accidents?

According to the NHTSA, there are two main types of bike accidents: the most common (falling off your bike) and the most serious (involving a car). With faster speeds and heavier traffic, the majority of bike accident fatalities occur in urban areas rather than in rural ones. Whether it’s summertime or autumn, the most bike accident fatalities occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. when people are heading home from work, and the sun is going down. Moreover, some of the most common types of bike accidents that bicyclists and motorists should be aware of include:

  • A vehicle turning in front of a cyclist or entering the cyclist’s path
  • A cyclist turning in front of a motorist or entering the motorist’s path
  • Hitting road hazards, like potholes or bumps
  • Bicyclists crashing with a vehicle while riding

Depending on the accident, injuries that result from these bike accidents can be minor or severe. When it involves a car, bicyclists’ injuries can be severe, if not fatal. Injuries include bone fractures, bruising, stomach or chest injuries, head trauma, brain damage, and paralysis. To prevent bicyclist fatalities from rising in years to follow, bicyclists and motorists can take measures to reduce the number of summertime bike accidents.

Bicycle Helmet

What are Accident Prevention Steps for Bicyclists?

The safest thing for bicyclists to do this summer, and all the time, is to follow the rules and regulations of the road. That includes:

  • Follow traffic lights
  • Obey speed limits
  • Stop for stop signs
  • and be vigilant in keeping aware of other cars and pedestrians.

Bicyclists should use proper bike signals to alert other bicyclists of their intentions of turning left, right, or stopping. There’s also a certain etiquette that bicyclists should be aware of when riding in heavily congested biking areas during the summer months. For example, when passing another bicyclist, say, “On your left!” to alert them of your passing. Like motor vehicles, bicyclists are only allowed to pass on the left. When riding in the city with many cars around them, bicyclists should always be predictable and cautious. Looking before crossing a lane and riding in a straight path without sudden maneuvering, will help keep everyone safer on the road.

There’s a lot that bicyclists can do with what they wear, which prevents bike accidents. It goes without saying that bicyclists should always wear a helmet when riding. Doing so can avoid serious head injury or even death. Bicyclists should also wear bright colors when riding to alert other drivers and bicyclists nearby. Bright apparel, along with reflective night gear, can significantly increase safety when riding at dusk or in the evening.

What are Crash Prevention Steps for Motorists?

Like bicyclists, motorists must always follow the road rules by maintaining safe speed limits and obeying traffic signals. When driving in New York City, motorists should especially be on the lookout for cyclists before changing lanes or turning into traffic. In addition to these cornerstone rules of driving, it’s vital that drivers don’t become distracted behind the wheel. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of death in America, with more than nine deaths and 1,000 injuries reported each day. Drivers should never pick up and use their cell phones while driving, especially in congested areas with more bicyclists sharing the road.

If an accident should occur between a motorist and bicyclist, the driver must stay at the scene of the accident, call and wait for emergency help to arrive.

person fixing rear view mirror of the car while driving
person fixing rear view mirror of the car while driving

What are Crash Prevention Steps for Motorists?

Like bicyclists, motorists must always follow the road rules by maintaining safe speed limits and obeying traffic signals. When driving in New York City, motorists should especially be on the lookout for cyclists before changing lanes or turning into traffic. In addition to these cornerstone rules of driving, it’s vital that drivers don’t become distracted behind the wheel. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of death in America, with more than nine deaths and 1,000 injuries reported each day. Drivers should never pick up and use their cell phones while driving, especially in congested areas with more bicyclists sharing the road.

If an accident should occur between a motorist and bicyclist, the driver must stay at the scene of the accident, call and wait for emergency help to arrive.

Contact Experienced Bike Accident Injury Attorneys

Many benefits come with bike riding, and the summertime is perfect for this activity. Along with the benefits, however, bicyclists need to understand the risks that come along. At The Barnes Firm, we know that bike riding is sometimes the only option for your commute. Everyone deserves a safe riding experience, whether bicycling for work or leisure. However, when accidents do happen, the bike accident injury attorneys at The Barnes Firm can help.

The Barnes Firm is a highly accomplished personal injury law firm with awards and accreditations that attest to their dedication. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in bike accident-related cases. Contact the trusted Manhattan bike accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm to learn how they can help you and your loved ones recover the damages that you need after suffering a bike accident. To schedule your free consultation, complete an online contact form, or call today.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000