WAYS TO PREVENT BICYCLE ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 700 cyclists die in auto accidents every year. In 2013 alone, traffic accidents claimed the lives of 743 pedal cyclists and injured about 48,000 others. NHTSA bicycle accident statistics showed the number of cyclists killed or hurt annually has declined in recent years, but the total is still too high – especially with the growing trend of bicycle riding for commuting, health and fitness.
Although riding a bicycle alongside motorized vehicles can be dangerous when motorists behave negligently, bicyclists and drivers alike can take steps to prevent bicycle accidents. Every bike accident lawyer at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP has worked to protect the rights of bike accident victims and uphold the law by holding careless drivers accountable. We remain committed to increasing awareness about bicycle safety in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., with a goal of bringing the number of fatal and serious bicycle accidents in the Metropolitan area down to zero.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Washington, D.C.
According to the NHTSA, 34 percent of traffic accidents resulting in pedal cyclist fatalities in the last year on record involved alcohol use by either the driver or the cyclist. Other leading causes of bike accidents include:
- Riding a bike on the wrong side of the road
- Riding out of a driveway or off a sidewalk into the path of a driver
- Failing to remain inside designated bike lanes or close to the edge of the road
- Riding a bike at night without reflectors or headlights
- Opening a car door as a bicyclist passes
- Driving while distracted
- Unsafe turns by both drivers and bicyclists
- Poorly maintained roads
Serious bicycle accident injuries can result from a collision with a car, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. These cycling injuries often require costly medical treatment and lengthy rehabilitation.
When it comes to paying medical and repair costs, we find many cyclists are unaware that they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries if driver recklessness or agency’s failure to properly maintain a road caused the bike accident. This is one important oversight that can lead to cyclists paying thousands of dollars out of pocket in damages for a crash they did not cause! Even if you think you may be at fault for the wreck, there are other factors a bike accident attorney can explore to recover compensation on your behalf.
Tips on Preventing Washington, D.C. Bicycle Accidents
To safely share the road with bicyclists, drivers should:
- Check for bicyclists before opening a car door
- Watch for bicyclists and yield to them when appropriate
- Maintain a safe distance when passing a bicyclist
- Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
In order to minimize the risk of serious bicycle accident injuries and crashes, cyclists should:
- Wear a helmet — the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that helmets cut a bicyclist’s risk for head injury by as much as 85 percent
- Utilize bike lanes where available
- Use proper hand signals
- Stay off freeways that do not allow bicycles
- Equip bikes with reflectors and/or headlights
- Ride with the flow of traffic
- Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Most traffic accidents of any kind are caused by someone’s negligence. When both drivers and cyclists are alert and aware on the road, many bicycle injuries and accidents can be prevented.
Call Our Washington DC Bicycle Accident Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered serious bicycle injuries, or if a loved one died in a bike accident, learn about your legal rights from the experienced Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP
Our firm has a proven track record of success representing victims of motor vehicle accidents. We are a nationally recognized firm with personal injury lawyers recognized for their achievements in personal injury law, accident law and workers’ compensation. It is our mission to fight to ensure you receive the fair and just bicycle accident compensation you deserve.
There is no financial risk to call to get free legal advice or to pursue your claim. We believe all victims deserve qualified and competent legal representation, regardless of their ability to afford an accident lawyer . If we do not recover a financial award for your bike crash, you will not owe us legal fees! Our promise to you is to work hard to recover the fairest available compensation for your damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.