Riding a bike is a great way to get in shape, enjoy the fresh air, and spend time with family and friends. However, did you know that bicycles are associated with more injuries than skateboards, trampolines, playgrounds, and swimming pools combined? May is National Bike Safety Month, a time to celebrate the pleasures and benefits of cycling but also a good time to remind ourselves and the children we love about bike safety. Whether you ride your bike to commute to work, or for pure recreation, personal injury attorney David Tapalian of Tapalian Law in Providence wants to remind you to stay alert and take precautions to protect yourself from bike injuries. As a car accident law firm focused on vehicle accidents and their ensuing personal injuries, we feel it’s our responsibility to share some bicycle safety tips to help keep you and the ones you love safe. Rhode Island is home to many bike-friendly communities but with over 80 million bike riders sharing the road with millions of motor vehicles, taking safety precautions cannot be emphasized enough.
Risks of Bicycling
Unless you are riding on a designated bike path, most likely you are sharing the road with cars and trucks. A bike accident can happen anywhere, but injuries from a bike accident more often take place when automobiles are involved. Drivers need to be aware they are sharing the road with not just other cars, but also the more vulnerable bicyclists. The most important point to remember when getting on a bicycle is to wear a proper safety helmet. Many states, including Rhode Island, require them. When involved in a crash or collision, the foremost part of the body to go forward is usually the head. Without a helmet for protection, the results can be fatal. Statistics estimate that cyclists wearing a helmet reduced their risk of head injury by 60% and risk of brain injury by 58%. Wearing a properly fitting helmet is an extremely important safeguard to protect against brain injuries, which are the most common cause of bike related deaths. Clearly, it is well worth the few moments it takes to strap a helmet on yourself and your children. Compare the weight of a vehicle with that of a bike. There is no comparison. When a bike collides with an automobile, severe bodily injury and/or head trauma can occur as well as broken bones, traumatic wounds, and other types of injuries. According to a report by the National Safety Council (NSC), about 1,000 fatalities resulted from bicyclists colliding with automobiles in 2014.
Bike Riding Safety Tips for Rhode Island Cyclists
- Always wear a helmet. Rhode Island law requires any person under the age of 15 to wear a protective bicycle helmet while riding a bike. (RI Helmet Law)
- Inspect your bike for safety concerns including loose bolts, deflated tires, or faulty brakes.
- Know your traffic laws. Bicycles must follow the same road rules as vehicles.
- Ride in the direction of traffic and use hand signals when making a turn.
- If riding with others, ride in a single file with enough space in between each biker.
- Watch for opening car doors or road debris.
- Wear bright clothing to make it easier for drivers to see you.
- If biking at dusk, dawn, or at night, wear reflective clothing.
- Make sure your bike is equipped with multiple reflectors.
- Do not wear headphones while riding a bike.
If you, or a child, have been hit by a car or truck while riding a bike, it is imperative you seek medical treatment immediately. Police and medical professionals should be contacted on the spot to seek medical treatment and file the proper police reports. Even if an injury seems insignificant at the time, minor damages can morph into major problems quickly. Any type of injuries resulting from a bike accident should be treated right away but it is especially important that any head injuries are properly treated and monitored by the hospital medical professionals. Consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accident law to seek legal advice. David Tapalian is a skilled Providence car accident attorney, experienced in helping those suffering from injuries due to bicycle accidents, vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, dog bites, and injuries due to the negligence of another. Tapalian Law offers a free case review of your bike accident claim or other personal injury claim. If you are hospitalized due to an accident, we will come directly to you. Do not wait as there are time limits to file a claim for your accident related injuries. Call the car accident lawyers at Tapalian Law today, at
or visit us online.