The weather in Wisconsin seems to be finally getting warmer after a long winter. As spring begins and the weather becomes nicer, we see more bicycles out and about and on the roadways. This trend of high volumes of bicycles will continue both throughout the summer and into the fall. Unfortunately, the higher number of bicycles on the roadways means there will be an increase in accidents involving bicycles. More often than not, when a vehicle and a bicycle are involved in an accident, the bicyclist gets the worst of it. Accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles can lead to serious injuries. Below are some tips on bicycle safety as well as more information about bicycle accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicyclists made up 2% of all traffic fatalities and 2% of crash-related injuries in 2014. The most common time for a accident involving a bicycle to occur is between the hours of 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Most of the fatalities from bicycle accidents occurred in urban areas. Almost 1 out of 5 bicyclists who were killed had a blood alcohol level that was above the legal limit.
As riding a bicycle can be dangerous, it is important that bicyclists take safety precautions to help ensure their next bike ride is a safe one. The following are some tips to help keep bicyclists safe on the roadways:
- Wear a helmet. Helmets. Helmets help to protect a bicyclists head in the event of a crash. It is important that the helmet is the proper fit to obtain the best protection for your head.
- Wear equipment that makes you visible to drivers and others on the roadway. Things such as reflective clothing, lights on your bike and reflectors on your bike can make it easier for you to be seen while riding your bicycle.
- Obey the traffic laws. As a bicyclist you have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. This means that you need to ride in the flow and same direction as traffic, obey all street signs, signals and markings and avoid distracted driving activities such as texting.
- Drive predictably. When you drive predictably, drivers and others on the roadway can get a better sense of what you will be doing, which can make it easier for them to react to avoid an accident.
By following these tips and ensuring you ride your bike safely, you can help to ensure that you are not involved in an accident.