“It doesn’t matter whether it’s raining, or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike, I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” – Mark Cavendish, British pro racer
Many US cities and towns are focusing on the advantages of cycling instead of driving as a means of reducing motor vehicle congestion on the roads and reducing the impact of exhaust fumes on global warming.
In essence, their goal is to encourage people to use non-motorized transport like a bicycle as opposed to a motorized vehicle such as a car or motorcycle. Succinctly stated, this will reduce the city, county, state, and country’s reliance on fossil fuels. And, it will reduce the volume of harmful greenhouse gasses on the environment.
Unfortunately, the reduction of the reliance on motorized transport does not reduce the risk of bicycle accidents where the cyclist is knocked down by a car. Statistics show that 857 cyclists were killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2018.
Thus, it is vital to practice safe cycling habits:
Pointers to help you avoid being in an accident as a cyclist
Before we discuss tips and pointers to practice safe cycling habits, it is important to accept that unfortunately, accidents do happen. And, should you be involved in a cycling accident, it’s best to consult with an injury attorney to ensure that you follow the legal procedures to file a personal injury claim against the driver who knocked you off your bicycle.
Even though you might feel that filing a personal injury lawsuit at the local civil court is a bit harsh, who is going to pay for your medical bills, replace your bicycle, and cover the costs of time off work. Worst case scenario, you might end up with serious, life-threatening injuries that could potentially medically board you.
Therefore, even if you don’t want to file a personal injury claim, it is a good idea to speak with a legal expert to determine what all your options are so that you can make an informed decision.
Finally, here are a few top tips to help you cycle safely while out on public roads and in public spaces:
Always wear a helmet
Even though a traditional cycling helmet looks fairly flimsy, it is designed to reduce the chance of a serious head injury such as a concussion should you land on your head when knocked off your bicycle. A single concussion can result in a serious brain injury that will impact your ability to live an independent lifestyle for the rest of your life. Thus, it is not worth taking the risk of cycling without a properly fitting helmet.
Improve your cycling skills
It is equally important to make sure that you can cycle well, primarily if you use special cycling shoes with cleats that need to be unclipped from your pedals every time you need to stop. Falling over because you cannot un-cleat before stopping is not a good idea. It will add to the risk of being hit by a car, especially while cycling on public roads.
Thus, it is vital to practice your cycling skills in a quiet area before venturing onto a public road.