Spring is in the air and many people are ready to enjoy the beautiful weather outside. Whether for exercise, recreation, or traveling to work, there are many reasons why you might choose to ride a bicycle. Whatever the reason you decide to ride a bike, there are important precautions to take in order to keep you safe on the road and help you avoid being hit by motor vehicles.
Bike accidents can give rise to personal injury claims, allowing you to potentially recover compensation for injuries you sustain. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bike accident, the bicycle accident lawyers at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can help.
Staying Safe While Riding a Bike
You are perfectly within your legal rights to ride a bicycle on the road, and motorists must share the road with you. Indeed, in many places, bicycle riding is not permitted on sidewalks, forcing you onto the road with cars and other traffic.
However, when riding on the road, the same responsibilities placed on motorists are placed on bicyclists. Adhering to these responsibilities can decrease the chances that you will be hit by a vehicle.
When entering a road, you must yield to oncoming traffic. It is particularly dangerous when a bicyclist enters the road from a driveway, alley, or from between parked cars. A motorist will not be expecting that any sort of traffic, including a bike, will be entering from the middle of the block. Before entering the road, be sure to stop and check both ways to ensure it is safe.
It is also safer (as well as required) to ride with traffic. Drivers do not expect traffic to be coming from the wrong direction, so riding against traffic can be very dangerous. As a result of the unexpectedness of a bicyclist riding in the wrong direction, a motorist may not see you approaching.
Riding your bike in a uniform and predictable manner will also help to avoid accidents. This means you should ride in a straight line and avoid swerving. When you wish to change lanes or make a turn, you should use hand signals to alert motorists. It is also important to obey all traffic laws, signals, and signs. In other words, you should ride your bicycle the same way you would drive a vehicle.
How To Avoid a Bicycle Accident as a Vehicle Driver
As the driver of a motor vehicle, it is your duty to share the roads of Las Vegas with bicycle riders. According to data published in October of 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 2.6% of the total traffic fatalities in Nevada in 2019 were cyclists.
Nationwide, 78% of cycling crash fatalities took place in urban areas, and 64% of fatalities occurred away from an intersection. While 846 cycling fatalities were reported in the U.S. in 2019, none of those were reported in Las Vegas. However, accidents causing injury did occur.
Knowing these statistics can help drivers be more alert for cyclists. Most bike accidents occur because of distracted driving. This means that already dangerous driving habits, such as texting or talking on the phone, can be particularly dangerous when sharing the road with a bicycle. When you are not paying attention, your car can swerve into a bicyclist or you can miss important traffic safety signals, such as red lights or stop signs.
Focusing on the road is the most important thing you can do when you are driving, especially when in a congested urban area such as Las Vegas. Being attentive will help you avoid accidents with other cars and bikes, and help you to safely share the road with everyone.
Riding at Night and After Drinking
If at all possible, you should avoid riding a bike at night, as motorists often have difficulty seeing bicyclists when it is dark. However, if you cannot avoid riding a bike at night, you should wear bright clothing with reflective material. Further, your bike should be equipped with a headlight and a rear reflector.
It’s also important to avoid drinking alcohol when riding a bike. Balance, coordination, focus, and reaction time are all affected when a cyclist is under the influence of alcohol. After consuming alcohol, the best choice is to find another means of transportation.
What many cyclists don’t realize is that they can be charged with a DUI if they are riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol. This is because riding your bicycle impaired on roads could lead to you failing to comply with traffic safety laws which can create dangerous encounters with other vehicles.
If you have been charged with a DUI while riding your bicycle, the criminal defense attorneys of De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can help.
We Can Help If You Have Been Involved in a Bicycle Accident
Whether you are injured while riding your bicycle, or you have struck a bicyclist but believe that you are not at fault for the accident, the team at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you. We have worked closely with those injured in accidents as well as those who need a criminal defense attorney.
If you have been injured in an accident, then we can help you pursue damages such as medical bills, property damage, or any lost wages. If you struck a bicyclist, we can help you create a defense that could assist you in reducing and possibly dismissing any charges brought against you.
Contact Us Today if You Have Been Involved in a Bicycle Accident
If you have been involved in a bicycle-related accident, De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can ensure that you are treated fairly whether you are seeking recoverable damages or creating a defense. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Contact our Las Vegas bicycle accident attorneys today at 702-222-9999.