Just like any group in America that is or has been underrepresented cyclists struggle to get qualified representation to take them seriously when they have a collision or crash. While it is not yet law in California it is certainly not uncommon for cyclists to have insurance which is a good thing when you look at the number of accidents involving cyclists. Statistics from California Healthline org show that nearly 4 cyclists per million residents were killed in “traffic accidents” between 2016-18 which is the highest death rate over any three-year period since the mid-’90s.
People could well be thinking but things are better than when they were kids for reasons such as we now have extensive bicycle networks, lanes even a police force but none of these measures appear to be reducing fatalities! Perhaps it’s just because more of us are riding now but the statistics suggest it is not safer for cyclists while road accidents are dropping, those involving cyclists are increasing.
Traffic Accident, Collision, or Crash
It is now common for people to have insured their bicycles under household insurance as this author has been doing since he rode his little Chopper up and down the cul de sac where he was born. It was a love affair that has taken up most of his life. Some Choppers are shown here and like the motorbikes, they get their name from being chopped of customized street bikes
Household insurance does not cover bike theft however and it also does not cover accidents and theft, at least 25,000 reported each year from 2007-2011. This means having individual bike insurance is a good step. However, the professionals behind Pocrass & De Los Reyes say that finding a lawyer to help you out in this situation is required. They indicate that seven out of 10 police reports for traffic accidents involving cyclists indicate the cyclist to be at fault but this is not by itself undue cause for concern.
Things You Can Do To Avoid Bicycle Accidents?
The causes of car collisions or traffic accidents are many and below are a few things we can do to avoid them. It is first worth accepting that there can be mutual blame situations, where an apology and a handshake are enough will stop us from wasting time. There is also a lot we can do to mediate the causes of accidents and so prevent the need for legal action:
Being familiar with the location you are riding a bike in will help prevent any accident from happening. Since this is the case, you are forewarned of the potential danger zones in your biking route. Thanks to this information, you can ride defensively whenever there are other cars or people along your way.
Maintaining the right speed is a must whenever you’re riding a bicycle. If you’re too slow, you run the risk of encouraging other motorists to speed up just to overtake you. On the other hand, if you’re too fast, you reduce the time needed to react defensively against a potential accident. It’s best to maintain a safe speed along a route where there are minimal hazards. In this way, traffic will flow normally without causing any accidents.
Riding a bike through traffic requires the utmost focus. If there is even a small sign of distraction, an accident will most likely occur. Some common forms of distraction are using a smartphone or not paying attention to important traffic signs. If this practice is continued, a motorist or someone on the road will most likely get hurt. It’s best to pay full attention to everything happening around. Doing so would ensure the normal flow of traffic while you’re out biking.
Drinking alcoholic beverages and riding a bike is surely a recipe for disaster. Doing so would impair your physical prowess to ride a bike and your crucial decision-making skills when you’re out on the road. When these things happen, you would not be able to bike properly and be a cause of harm to other people. In this situation, it’s better to sober up first before going out. This might take some time but doing so would prevent a bicycle accident from occurring.
● Lack of Illumination
It is indicated in the above that a red reflector is okay. Certainly, on a well-lit road, this might be the case but throw in a fast corner or road section where illumination is poor, then an accident may just happen. Having a small flashing red light on the back of the helmet and on our bicycle might just save our life. This little feature will help alert motorists of your presence and aid them in making a timely decision when it comes to road safety. In this way, no one will get hurt while you are out riding a bike at night.
So in summary bicycle deaths by traffic accidents appear to be increasing so it is incumbent on cyclists to protect themselves: use lights, reflective gear, a helmet, and sunglasses some protective pads especially on long rides or en-route to work. If in a new town check any local rules around crossing’s etc before you travel.
Ride slower on routes that are not familiar, allow more time. Look for insurance especially if this is our transport to work, we are all more distracted on the way to work. Know where to find a good lawyer and remember the police write a factual report. It is not their remit to decide fault, unless obvious. Riding a bicycle can be so many things it might be a mode of transportation, a decision based on saving the environment. Whatever it is, get out there and enjoy it.
Riding a bicycle is a love affair that started in our youth and will never end. It’s a must to be prepared when riding one on the road. Whether the environment is a safe one or is filled with risks and danger, bike riders should always stay one step ahead. In doing so, the preservation of life and property will be maintained.