Though it’s getting a bit late in the bicycling season, it’s never too late to talk safety — especially when biking and pedestrian traffic accidents have been so much in the news this year. For those people who have been injured in biking accidents involving automobiles and commercial trucks, you likely already know the pain and hardship caused by the negligence or carelessness of a motor vehicle operator.
For those who have never been injured while riding in urban areas such as Annapolis, Frederick, Rockville or Bowie, count yourself lucky and take heed; there are a number of simple steps that can improve your odds when sharing the road with larger and potentially dangerous vehicular traffic. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we have see the results of car-bike accidents and we applaud anyone who promotes automobile and bicycle safety in order to help reduce the carnage on our state’s roadways.
To be sure, any bicycle accident can be serious or even life-threatening depending on the speeds involved and the circumstances of the traffic accident. Cuts and bruises are the most likely injuries, which can include painful road rash and deep lacerations. Broken bones are always a potential injury when going up against a car or truck, while concussions and other closed-head trauma are likely in crashes involving large vehicles or higher speeds. (Hitting a stationary object, such as a tree or roadside guardrail can also result in potentially fatal injuries.)
For some hints on safer riding and better survivability in the case of a bike-truck or bike-auto collision, the following may be of some use. Much of what is stated here is common sense and certainly on the lists of most cycling safety advocates, but it never hurts to reiterate best practices.
Never ride without a helmet
Protecting one’s brain from traumatic injury is foremost in the war against cycling-related injuries and traffic-related deaths. Some voices in the cycling community suggest that, in fact, no bicyclist can claim that he or she is a safe rider if they do not wear a helmet 100 percent of the time. While there is no state law requiring helmet use when cycling, many people believe that there should be.