Those who choose to commute by bike are "selfless altruists, risking life and limb for the good of society" according to a recent piece in The Washington Post. Unfortunately for cyclists, the claim is supported by data. Those who commute with bicycles are reaping health benefits, but at potential risk.
Two risks cyclists need to be wary of:
- Accidents with motor vehicles
- Accidents from riding on unsafe terrain
An awareness of these risks can help reduce the chances of injury.
Beware: Motor vehicles
It is no surprise that an accident between a car, truck or semi and a bicyclist does not fare well for the cyclist. Unfortunately for the cyclists, there are a number of concerns with motor vehicles: an actual collision with a moving vehicle is just one of them. Bikers must also be wary for doors opening up into their lanes.
A cyclist traveling at a decent clip can face serious injury when impacting with a door that suddenly becomes ajar in their lane.
Beware: Dangerous terrain
Unfortunately, the dangerous terrain most likely to cause injury does not refer to navigating steep cliffs in the Rocky Mountains or attempting a new BMX trick on a local ramp. The more common version of these accidents is not the result of an adrenaline rush gone wrong. Instead, these dangers are present during a typical commute.
A poorly maintained sidewalk or construction on a local roadway can result in a bad surface for the wheels of a bike, leading to reduced traction and an increased risk of crashing.
What's a cyclist to do?
The piece in the Post goes to great lengths to continue to support the benefits of biking. Biking serves a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of depression, mood disorders and heart disease. Being aware of these dangers can help reduce the associated risks, particularly if the biker uses this knowledge and makes changes to how he or she rides in these situations.
However, even when safety measures are taken accidents can happen. If the accident is the result of another's negligent or reckless behavior the responsible party can be held accountable through a civil suit. This can result in monetary awards to help cover the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and replacing that prized Huffy. Contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney to discuss your options.