With the weather warming up soon, people will begin to emerge from their houses to get outside and get some much needed fresh air and exercise.  One amazing way to do both is to ride a bike. Bike riding serves many purposes, such as spending time with family and friends, exercising, and transportation.  
While riding a bike may seem like an everyday activity, everyone who gets on a bike should make sure that they follow the bicycle safety tips we provide below.  Bicycle riding laws should also be reviewed to know what your rights are as a pedestrian on the road.

Bicycle Statistics

Biking has become very popular in the past several years.  Within the past few years, the United States has seen a decline in the number of bicycle-related accidents.  Still, over 500,000 individuals are injured each year alone through biking accidents.
While this is great news that accidents are declining, the number of fatal bike accidents continue to rise.  This could be because new bike riders are not familiar with Utah’s bicycle riding laws and safe driving practices.  Drivers on the road may not be paying attention like they once were either. Some cities also do not have bike paths or biking areas or support bicycle safety.  

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents can be prevented through education and knowing what these common causes are.  The following are some of the most cited accidents in the United States.
Bike riders that are not attentive account for many accidents on the road.  If a bicycle rider is not paying attention due to a distraction, such as talking on the phone, an accident is much more likely to occur.  It is best to keep all the attention on the road in order to stay in the bike lane. Limit talking on the phone to rest stops only, as hands- free devices can assist in a rider not being attentive.
Dangerous road conditions are to blame for a number of accidents.  Counties and cities are obligated to keep roads in good condition, however, there are times that this does not happen in a timely fashion.  
A very common cause of accidents is not wearing proper clothing at night.  It is advised that one wear reflective gear so the motorist can better see them in the dark.  A reflective vest makes a great choice for gear, as do reflective shoes. Riders can also purchase items for their bikes, such as Sheel strips to the bike wheels or spoke reflectors.  
Those that fail to yield are more likely to be involved in a bicycle accident.  A biker may believe that the car should yield, while the car feels that the biker needs to.  They both end up going, and an accident is caused. Knowing who needs to yield and when will help to prevent accidents.

Bicycle Safety Tips

All across the United States, individuals are advocating to have better bicycle practices that keep all bike riders safe.  Utilizing the following bicycle safety tips can greatly increase the likelihood of not having an accident.
Educating yourself about bicycle safety is one of the best tips that can be given.  Many cities have educational programs that are being offered to help bike riders be safe before they even hit the road.  Groups can advocate by distributing flyers and other educational materials, and courses can be set up for children to learn all the essentials of bike safety.
A bicycle check should be done each and every time one rides the bike.  Things to look for include:

  • Making sure the pressure of the tires is where it should be
  • Check the brakes to make sure they are working properly.  If your brakes fail while riding, there is not much that you will be able to do about it.  You can easily check the brakes by spinning the front wheel with the bike elevated off the ground, then repeat with the back wheel.  Be sure to apply the handbrakes to make sure the brake pads squeeze the sides of the wheels evenly.
  • The chain should be checked to see if it needs to be oiled. When you pedal the bike, if it squeaks, you need to oil it.  You will also need to see how the chain is holding up. If there is a lot of wear and tear on it, it may need to be replaced.
  • Check the bolts that connect the seat to the frame.  Major accidents can occur when the seat is not secure.  Take caution not to over tighten it, as this could cause a crack in the stem.  
  • Check the brake lights to make sure they are properly working and fully charged.  If they are dirty, use a cloth to remove any dirt or debris.

Bicycle helmets should be worn by every individual riding.  The helmet should be snug but not overly tight. The helmet should always be worn so it is level on your head.  The forehead should be protected, with the front edge one inch or less from the eyebrows. Bike helmets should be replaced after every 5 years or if the helmet has been in an accident. It is also recommended to not share the helmet with anyone.  This will allow the owner to know exactly what kind of use the helmet has had.

Call Siegfried & Jensen in Salt Lake City, Utah For a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a bicycle accident, you will need to contact a skilled attorney that has your best interest.  At Siegfried & Jensen, you will have an attorney with you through the entire process, answering your questions and taking the time to address any concerns.  They will utilize all the information they have gathered can to build up your case to have an outcome that you deserve. They will obtain police reports, medical records, testimonials, and more to assist you in getting back to the life that you had lived before the bicycle accident happened.  

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.