Cyclists are at greater risk of suffering serious injury or death when involved in auto accidents. Bicycles and the equipment worn by riders simply can’t withstand impacts from vehicles. Serious injuries are highly likely following any collision with a car.
Last year, in Louisiana, 703 people were injured and 21 died in bicycle/motor vehicle accidents. According to Governing magazine, Louisiana had the second highest bicycle deaths per capita in recent years. In 2015, 45,000 cyclists were injured and 818 were killed in the United States due to bicycle/motor vehicle accidents.
Every year more people are using bicycles to commute, especially in cities. New Orleans ranks as the 5th highest city for bike commuters in the United States. Ironically, urban roadways are the most dangerous for cyclists. 70% of bicycle fatalities occur in cities, with 35% occurring at intersections.
A head injury causes the highest risk of death and disability to cyclists. Wearing a properly fitted helmet can help protect you when riding. Bicycle helmet laws have been shown to effectively reduce crash-related injuries and deaths, especially among children.
Other effective interventions that have shown to reduce injuries are active lighting and rider visibility. Florescent and retro-reflective clothing can make bicyclists more visible from further away. Active lighting can include front white lights, rear red lights, or other lights on the bicycle or cyclist.
All States require bicyclists to follow the same rules as motorists. Drive defensively and stay focused and alert. Assume other drivers don’t see you. Anticipate what others may do before they do it. Drive with the flow and in the same direction as traffic. Always obey street signs, signals, and road markings.
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The two most common types of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents are:
Other common accidents include:
If you have been involved in a bicycle/motor vehicle accident there are steps you should take to ensure you are compensated for any damage. No matter how mild you may think the accident is, call the police. Don’t admit any fault or apologize. Take as many pictures as possible. Get the names and information of any witnesses. Make sure the police get your statement. See a doctor even if you don’t think you have injuries. Adrenaline can often mask any injuries after an accident. Keep documentation of any expenses and time off of work or school.
Contact a personal injury attorney. The attorneys and staff at The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess will file a claim with the driver’s insurance company and help you to receive compensation for your losses and injuries.
If you were the victim of an accident, Call The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!
Sources: BikeLaw.com; BikeLafayette.org