Bicycling has become a popular activity that appeals to individuals of all ages. It’s a great way to be independent, become healthier and have fun. But did you know that in 2007, 2214 Michigan bicyclists were involved in motor vehicle crashes? 18 were killed and 1760 injured. Both the young and the elderly are represented in these figures. Youngsters under the age of 21 accounted for 16.4% of bicycle deaths and those 55 and older accounted for 31%.
If you enjoy biking, how can you help avoid becoming a statistic? Follow these simple tips for safer riding:
1. Always ride with a properly fitted bicycle helmet. A helmet will help protect your brain and may save your life.
2. Make sure your bike is properly adjusted to fit your body. Check your tires and brakes before riding.
3. Avoid potholes, glass on the roadway or anything that may pose a hazard where you might lose control of your bike.
4. Ride during daylight hours. Wear neon or bright colors to be more visible to others. If you must ride at night, check the Michigan Vehicle Code to make certain you are operating your bike with the proper lights and reflectors. (http://www.m-bike.org/blogs/laws)
5. Ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws, especially the required hand signals for turning and stopping. Left turn…hand and arm extended horizontally. Right turn…hand and arm extended upward. Stop or decreasing speed…hand and arm extended downward. (Michigan Vehicle Code 257.648) Look for a break in traffic before you make a turn, then make the appropriate hand signal.
6. Children under 10 should never ride in the street. They are better off riding on the sidewalk. Check to be sure that sidewalk riding is allowed in your state or local area. Sidewalk riding can be dangerous due to vehicles entering or exiting driveways and cross streets.
7. Always alert pedestrians who are near by ringing your horn or bell, or by loudly saying, “Passing on your left” or “Excuse me.”
Remember that a bicycle is a vehicle and is subject to the same rules of the roads as motorists. A number of accidents involving bicycles occur because of the bicyclist’s behavior, not wearing a helmet or not following the rules of the road, such as stopping at stop signs or yielding to traffic when appropriate.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle-related accident, call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik at 810-720-4000 or toll free at 888-905-4632. We will help you receive the maximum results from the insurance companies.