The COVID-19 pandemic has had many people pent up in their homes. Now, with the warmer weather arriving, more people are looking to get out of their homes and get moving.
According to a Bloomberg article, commuters are turning to cycling as a safer alternative to crowded trains and bus stations. In addition, children are home from school until September and several gyms are closed. As a result, bicycle sales are skyrocketing across America.
What risks do bicyclists face?
Bicyclists have always been at odds when sharing the road with cars and trucks. Many drivers fail to see bicyclists or even acknowledge their rights to share the road. What's worse, bicyclists are far more susceptible to sustaining serious injuries than motorists. They don't have the protection of a vehicular frame, airbags, or seatbelts.
Due to COVID-19, the number of cars on the road has decreased significantly. With fewer cars on the road, more drivers are reportedly traveling at dangerous speeds, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
In addition, bicyclists face the risk of encountering distracted drivers, road ragers, and poorly designed intersections.
How can bicyclists stay safe?
AAA offers some safety tips for bicyclists under four categories:
- The fundamentals: These basic safety tips include:
- Stay alert, aware of other road users, and making yourself visible
- Wearing a properly-fitted helmet to reduce the risk of a head injury
- Riding in a single file with other bicyclists
- Riding on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Avoid areas with heavy traffic congestion
- Using hand signals: Use hand signals to tell drivers which direction you intend to travel in. Click here to learn how to use hand signals.
- Recognizing hazards: Hazardous weather and road conditions can be dangerous for bicyclists. Bicyclists should look out for:
- Potholes or uneven surfaces
- Debris in the road
- Slippery surfaces or puddles
- Avoiding collisions: It's important to always look both ways when navigating an intersection. Double check and ensure that the coast is clear before proceeding. Red-light running occurs often at intersections. In addition, be sure to wear bright clothing to be seen be drivers.
What should I do if I'm involved in a bicycle crash?
The Seattle attorneys at Nelson Langer Engle, PLLC urge everyone to stay safe this summer. If you're involved in a crash with a negligent driver, don't hesitate to contact our firm for legal help.
Our legal team can investigate your bicycle crash and gather evidence to support your claim. We can also negotiate with insurance companies for full compensation of your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys, fill out our contact form online or call us at (206) 623-7520.