As the weather continues to get warmer, people are taking to the roads, sidewalks and bike paths to ride their bicycles. More Americans are cycling as a leisure activity, a mode of transportation or enjoyment of the outdoors. According to the NHTSA, from 2000 to 2012, the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased from 488,000 to 786,000.
While biking outdoors is a great way to spend the summer, it is important for cyclists and drivers to understand the rules of the road. Statistics show that bicycle accidents occur more than one would think. In fact, bicyclists account for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities and 2 percent of all crash-related injuries in 2012. Most fatalities occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight and in urban areas, and the majority of those killed while riding bicycles are male. By following suggested safety guidelines by the NHTSA, accidents involving bicycles can be reduced or avoided completely.
Top mistakes bicyclists make include riding in the wrong direction, or approaching cars head on. It is suggested to ride with the flow of traffic and never against it. Also, follow the same rules of the road as motorists, including stopping at a stop sign or red lights in order to avoid confrontation with a motor vehicle. Last, wear light colored or fluorescent clothing while riding after dusk in order to increase your visibility.
It is also suggested of motorists to share the road with bicyclists. This includes being aware of bicycle lanes and allow cyclists their space on the roadway. Also, motorists should be looking to both the left, right and behind while making a right hand turn on red. Last, do not pass or overtake a bicyclist too closely, as bicyclists do not always maintain a perfectly straight line while riding. In fact, Illinois law requires the operator of a motor vehicle leave a safe distance of at least 3 feet when passing a cyclist or pedestrian. Using these simple suggestions can prevent injuries to bicyclists on the roadway.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are committed to representing people who have been seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses as a result of bicycle accidents. Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid continue to handle bicycle claims and all types of other personal injury cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Will and Kendall Counties and all throughout the Chicagoland area.