Summer is here and residents of upstate New York and the capital district are spending more and more time outside. They are engaging in all sorts of recreational activities, including bicycling. Biking is great exercise, it’s fun, and it saves gasoline. However, without some precautions, it can be dangerous.
According to information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some generalizations can be made about bicycle accidents, including the following:
- Most bicyclist fatalities (48 percent) occurred between 4:00 p.m. and midnight
- 88 percent of those killed while riding bicycles were male
- One in four bicyclists (24 percent) who died in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, the illegal alcohol level in all states
- Approximately one in four bicyclists (24 percent) who died in crashes were 45 to 54 years of age
- Nine percent of bicyclist fatalities and 20 percent of injuries occurred among children under the age of 16 years
- 37 percent of fatal crashes involved a driver or bicyclist who had been drinking
Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents
If you are planning to join the countless upstate New Yorkers who will be cycling this summer, there are a number of things you should keep in mind so as to avoid severe injury or death in a cycling accident. Here are just a few.
Three Tips for Bicyclists
First, three tips for bicyclists:
- Be predictable in your movements. Many accidents are caused when bicyclists turn or swerve suddenly into the path of a motorist.
- There is safety in numbers. Particularly for weekend recreational bicycle rides, stay in groups. Groups are significantly more visible than single cyclists. When a motorist’s attention is drawn to a group of cyclists, the incidence of accidents is reduced.
- Obey the rules of the road. Many bicyclists ride out into a street from a driveway or alley without first ascertaining that the movement can be safely accomplished. Others dart out from between parked cars. The motorist has the right-of-way and is reasonable in assuming a cyclist will yield. In a collision with a car, it will depend on who has the right-of-way. It is better to take an extra look to make sure the right-of-way is clear to both the bicyclist and motorist.
Tips for Motorists
Here are another three tips for motorists:
- Don’t turn on red without looking to the right and behind. As you slow to make your turn, a cyclist could be approaching from the rear.
- Obey the posted speed limits. All too many accidents occur because the motorist is speeding. Where conditions deteriorate, adjust your speed accordingly.
- Be attentive. More and more accidents these days, including accidents involving bicycles, are due to inattention on the part of auto drivers. Put the cellphone down. Turn down the radio. Save the effusive conversation with your friend in the car for later. You’re driving a two-ton missile that usually wins in any collision with a human being on a 40-pound bicycle — watch the road ahead.
For Those Involved in Cycling Accident, Skilled Legal Counsel May be a Key
Have you or a family member been involved in a bicycle accident? The E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy law firm has the experience and resources to help you recover the damages that you may deserve. We are one of the most highly respected law firms in upstate New York and the capital district. With offices in Albany, Troy, Saratoga Springs, and Schenectady, we have been representing clients for more than 100 years. Make the right call. Call us now at (518) 274–5820 or complete the online form. The E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy law firm has an attorney available to assist clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – even on holidays.