Bicycling can be a source of physical fitness and personal pride. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint when you ride a bike instead of driving a car, you're also taking care of your body. Unfortunately, like with a car, every time you get on a bike you assume some risk of injury or even death. Bikes simply don't offer much physical protection against injuries if you're in an accident.
To counter that risk, many bicycle enthusiasts invest in special protective gear. This gear won't reduce the chance of an accident, but it will help reduce the severity of injuries in some cases.
Accidents on bikes are common and can happen for a number of reasons. There's the possibility you'll lose your balance and get hurt. You could also end up hit or clipped by another vehicle that failed to notice you. Many times, these accidents only take seconds to occur. They can impact your life for years to come.
A helmet and visibility gear is critical to your safety
Even if you stay in the bike lane, drivers may not notice you there, even during daylight hours. One of the biggest threats to bicyclists on the road is how easy it is for other drivers to not notice them until it's too late.
To reduce the risk of blending into the background, many people who bike wear bright colors and reflective patches. You can also install reflective devices or tape on your bike and helmet. The flash of light off of reflectors can help distracted drivers notice you before they try to merge into a lane where you're biking or complete a turn through your line of travel.
Wearing a helmet is also very important. National statistics from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute indicate that roughly 40 percent of biking fatalities are the result of a serious head injury. Wearing a Department of Transportation approved helmet in the right size can reduce your risk of a serious head or facial injury substantially. It may seem unlikely, but in the event of an accident, wearing a helmet could actually save your life. You never know what is going to happen when you get on a bike, so strap on your helmet each and every time you go out for a spin.
If an accident happens, you need legal advocacy
No matter what kind of precautions you take, you can't prevent someone else from making a mistake. If you've been hurt in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash, an attorney can help you in a variety of ways. He or she can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair treatment and compensation. In cases of severe injuries, your attorney can help you file a civil lawsuit to recover your losses. While the ideal is to prevent injuries, if you do sustain injuries, you should enlist legal guidance as soon as possible.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001