Maryland Injury Update: Bicycle Safety Means More than Just Wearing a Helmet

Every year in Baltimore, Annapolis and other cities and towns across Maryland, dozens of bicycle riders are injured or killed by inattentive motorists on city boulevards, suburban streets and country roads. As Maryland bicycle accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys, our firm is aware of the dangers present on our public roadways.

Cyclists have next to no protection when it comes to a collision with an automobile, sport utility vehicle or pickup truck. Commercial vehicles pose even greater threats to bike riders; accidents involving semi tractor-trailers or urban delivery vehicles can many times be fatal. Minor cuts and bruises are nothing compared to broken bones, deep lacerations and other life-threatening injuries such as spine and brain trauma.

Avoiding injury on a bicycle is one of the key jobs of a cyclist, yet there are many other ways to protect oneself while peddling around town. It is important to remember that under Maryland law bicycles are considered road-going vehicles, which means bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of cars and trucks.

The biggest drawbacks to riding a bicycle in traffic is that riders are less visible and much quieter than cars, not to mention having no protective sheetmetal surrounding the operator. Sadly, this mean that even the slightest mistake by a cyclist can mean the difference between living another day or dying from a fatal traffic accident.

Hear are a few suggestions (and laws) for every rider to remember the next time he or she takes to the street on that shiny two-wheeler:

— Bicyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles
— Most crashes occur during daylight hours; May through September
— A helmet must be worn by anyone under the age of 16 who rides a bicycle on public roads, bicycle paths, or other public property
— A bicycle may not carry an additional passenger unless specifically designed for the task
— A rider must not wear a headset or earplugs that cover both ears
— Bicycles must obey the same traffic laws as cars
— Cyclists should ride in the same direction as automobile traffic
– -Wear reflective gear after dark and have a working light on your bike

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