As an avid cyclist, every time I clip in I worry about a distracted driver or a pothole which will take me out. Although May is the perfect time of the year to go out for a ride, but only with a helmet, we can celebrate National Bike Month without losing sight of the danger one faces when road biking.
Since 1956 the League of American Bicyclists has organized National Bike Month to raise awareness about the health and environmental benefits of riding a bike. The League also promotes bicycle safety.
Whether you commute to school or work on a bike or just cycle to get some exercise, or simply want to take in the majesty of New York’s lakes, mountains and beaches, cycling is not only fun but environmentally friendly. It’s a way to get out of doors and enjoy Rockland County as the Spring wind blows and you take in surrounding areas which would otherwise go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, cyclists are at a much higher risk of being seriously injured or killed in traffic accidents compared to drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles. Bike crashes, especially with cars, are more particularly troubling in New York, which was named one of the 10 most dangerous states in the country for bicycle riders.
Here are some sobering statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Institute (NHTSA) that shows how treacherous riding a bicycle can be whether in New York or elsewhere:
• In 2013, an estimated 48,000 cyclists were injured in crashes with motor vehicles.
• 743 cyclists were fatally injured in traffic accidents in 2013.
• Bicycle accident fatalities have increased 19% since 2010.
At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, New York and New Jersey Personal Injury law firm, as fellow cyclists, we want you to obey the rules of the road when you are on your bike and promote safe cycling. We want to raise awareness about the importance of wearing a bike helmet. We want you to recognize that safe signaling can save lives and we want you to promote bicycle safety during National Bike Month.
Here are some tips to keep in mind before you go for your next ride:
• Always Wear a Helmet: Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. In New York, riders under the age of 14 are required by law to wear their helmet at all times. Even older, more experienced riders benefit from the added protection of a helmet.
• Follow the Rules of the Road: To minimize your risk of being hurt in a traffic accident involving a motor vehicle, pay attention to all posted signs and ride in the same direction as traffic. Do not ignore stop signs or red lights, as this can increase your risk of being struck by a car.
• Be Clearly Visible: Make sure that your bicycle is equipped with front and back reflectors, bike lights or reflective tape. If you are riding at night, avoid dark clothing and instead wear bright, reflective colors. Far too many bike accidents occur because drivers simply did not see a cyclist until it was too late.
Drivers of motor vehicles and cyclists both have a responsibility to each other to safely share the road. If you or a loved one have a misfortune of suffering a serious bike accident caused by a distracted, drunk, negligent, careless or reckless driver, call Fellows Hymowitz Rice right away at 845-639-9300.
When you call, you will speak with both an experienced and compassionate attorney who represented cyclists over the years. A consultation is without any legal fee. If we feel you have a case, we will investigate the incident thoroughly and if you think we are the right firm for you and are retained, you should know that we will fight hard and not rest until you receive the compensation consistent with your injuries and losses.
At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front. We take all cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid until you do.
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