Celebrate Bike Month 2017 by Learning More About Cycling Safety
Spring has sprung, and we are well on our way to stimulating summer activities like baseball, barbecues, and — as the month of May will highlight especially — bike riding.
May is National Bike Month, a month dedicated to highlighting the benefits of bicycling and encouraging safe riding habits. Since 1956, the League of American Bicyclists has served as the national sponsor of National Bike Month. Each May, the League encourages and empowers individuals of all ages and backgrounds to get involved with cycling.
One sub-event that falls within National Bike Month is National Bike to Work Week on May 15-19, which encourages individuals to forego motor vehicle transportation and ride their bikes to work if possible.
The Benefits of Bike Riding
Bike riding is beneficial in many ways. Those who regularly (or even occasionally) participate in the activity often find that bicycling is a satisfying and worthwhile use of time, money, and other resources.
Some benefits of bicycling include:
- Saving money on gas and other transportation costs
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Saving time — in many cases, a bike’s ability to avoid traffic can actually reduce travel time on shorter trips, especially during rush hours
- Protecting the environment by limiting the use of gasoline
- Exploring new areas of your community, either by yourself or with friends or family
Bike riding can bring people together and free others from having to conform to conventional forms of transportation or exercise; however, bike riding also comes with some safety challenges and concerns.
Cycling Safety Challenges
Even if a cyclist has all the right protective gear, uses the correct hand signals, and follows the rules of the road, it does not mean that cycling is free from risk. Far too many car and truck drivers fail to look out for cyclists and to drive in a cyclist-friendly manner, and, unfortunately, this can result in accidents that cause dire injuries or even fatalities.
When a bicycle and car are involved in a severe crash, the bicyclist is almost always the one who is injured or killed. In 2014, 2 percent of all traffic fatalities in the nation were bicyclists.
Dusk is the most dangerous time to ride a bike, as most bicyclist deaths happen between 6 and 9 p.m. In addition, about 20% of all cycling deaths happen when the cyclist is legally drunk, with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Bicycle accidents are not reported as often as other types of crashes. In Texas, bicycle-motor vehicle accidents are particularly underreported because the state only tracks car-bicycle collisions that result in a fatality.
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes most bicycle-motor vehicle crashes could be completely avoided if all drivers and cyclists followed the rules of the road and shared the road properly. Unfortunately lack of awareness remains a barrier to this goal; many times, drivers fail to look out for bicyclists or don’t believe bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as cars.
Cycling Safety Tips
Although you can’t control how others will drive, you can take certain safety steps to protect yourself and your family. Consider the following safety tips, which can reduce your risk for a crash.
- Be seen: Consider wearing a headlight and reflective gear while riding your bike, regardless of the time of day.
- Communicate with drivers: Attempt to make sure drivers know where you are. Before you cross an intersection or stop at a traffic light, make eye contact with any driver that might affect your intended route, if possible.
- Use hand signals: When you are going through an intersection, use hand signals to indicate which way you intend to go.
- Don’t ride distracted: Just as you shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle while distracted by a phone, GPS, or music, you should not ride a bicycle while distracted. Operating a bike takes full physical, visual, and cognitive focus, and taking any of that focus away puts you at increased risk for a crash.
- Avoid busy streets: With so much traffic on major thoroughfares, it can be easy for cars to miss bicycles and not share the road. Less-crowded side streets are a better choice when possible.
As a driver, always look out for bicycles and give them space. Learn the hand signals and teach your family members what they mean, and remember that learning and adhering to the rules of the road is everyone’s responsibility.
Crosley Law Firm: Advocates for Cycling Accident Victims
Bicycle accidents happen, even to the most careful of riders. When these crashes occur, insurance companies rarely offer sufficient compensation to those injured or to the families of persons who are killed by negligent drivers.
As a committed advocate for cycling safety, Crosley Law Firm has represented the victims of many bicycling accidents that resulted in serious injuries and fatalities. Here at Crosley Law, we assist cyclists and their families in seeking and recovering monetary compensation from negligent drivers, insurance companies, and other entities that may be liable for damages and injuries.
Our attorneys have the skills and experience you need on your side while taking on insurance companies. Contact us today if you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident by calling 210-LAW-3000 or by filling out our convenient online form.
Bicyclists. (2017, February 14). National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists#3276
Pedestrians and bicyclists. (2016, November). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved from http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/pedestrians-and-bicyclists/fatalityfacts/bicycles/2014
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
10 Things Every Rider Should Know About Motorcycle CrashesFeb 21, 2022
A motorcycle crash can happen in the blink of an eye yet change your life forever. This is something a growing number of riders are finding. Here in Texas, the number of registered motorcycles had doubled between 2000 and 2014. And Bexar County has one of the highest numbers of riders in the state. At […]
5 Common Bicycle Accident Injuries: How a San Antonio Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can HelpJan 31, 2022
As avid cyclists, the team at Crosley Law knows how satisfying—and dangerous—bicycles can be. While it’s always in your best interest to use protective equipment and follow all local ordinances, even careful cyclists can end up with serious injuries after bicycle accidents with cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles. Our San Antonio personal injury lawyers represent […]
Why Drivers Lack Motorcycle AwarenessSep 23, 2020
At-fault drivers love to blame motorcycle riders for car-bike accidents. “I was about to turn left,” they argue, “and that motorcycle came out of nowhere!” Bias against motorcyclists is real, and motorists sometimes try to shift blame to innocent riders when they were at fault for a crash. This tactic can complicate your personal injury […]
Why Does Bexar County Have So Many Fatal Bicycle Crashes?Aug 26, 2020
Our community loves bicycles. However, our cycling habits come with a dark side: Bexar County has more fatal bicycle accidents than almost anywhere else in Texas. In this article, our San Antonio bicycle accident attorneys discuss the unique factors that make our roads so dangerous for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users. San Antonio Has […]
San Antonio’s I-35: One of the Deadliest Highways in AmericaMay 07, 2020
In 2019, ValuePenguin studied the data from nearly 3,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents that occurred during Thanksgiving and Christmas from 2015–2018 to determine America’s deadliest roadways during the holidays. The results proved what we here in south Texas suspected all along: San Antonio’s I-35 is one of the top five highways in America for deadly […]
Texas Bicyclist Fatalities Up 26%: Protect Yourself With These 5 TipsNov 07, 2019
Results published in the annual Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) crash statistics show an alarming trend for bicycle safety, as 26% more bicyclists died in crashes in 2018 than the year before. With 72 bicyclist fatalities in total, Texas’ bicyclist fatality rate has reached an unprecedented high. And until the safety and government organization can […]
4 Essential Facts About Texas Motorcycle LawsAug 13, 2019
At Crosley Law, we understand why bikers cherish the freedom that their motorcycles offer them. Compared to many states, Texas has relatively limited motorcycle safety laws. Sometimes, gaps in our laws lead to heart-breaking losses during a motorcycle crash. In this article, we’ll analyze Texas’s current motorcycle laws and outline ways that you can keep […]
Bicycle Traffic Laws: Who has the Right of Way?Apr 02, 2019
The Crosley Law team is passionate about cycling, and we love that our city is embracing bicycling as a sport and means of transportation. However, as San Antonio becomes increasingly bicycle-friendly, you’ve probably become a little confused about which traffic laws apply to San Antonio bicyclists. In 2017 alone, there were 2,687 reported car-bicycle crashes […]
Texas Leads the U.S. in Fatal Motorcycle Accidents: Protect YourselfOct 10, 2018
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes our love for motorcycles. In 2017 alone, state government statistics showed more than 386,938 bikes registered in Texas — the sixth-highest total in the country. But Texas also leads the way in a much less desirable metric: our state generally ranks either first or second in the […]
How Can We Improve Bicycle Safety in San Antonio?Apr 03, 2018
San Antonio residents and visitors love to ride parts of our city by bicycle. Unfortunately, many bike riders experience preventable injuries in car-bicycle crashes. Below, the bicycle lawyers at Crosley Law Firm explain how San Antonio is improving bike safety—and what still needs to be done.
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.