Bicycle and Pedalcycle Traffic Safety Crucial for Saving Lives
Hutchinson, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/23/2015 --Bicyclists are at an extremely high risk for injury and death following traffic accidents. In 2010, there were 800 bicyclists killed and 515,000 injured in traffic-related accidents in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This disturbing trend continued in 2011 with the death of 682 pedalcyclists. Pedalcyclists are any cyclist on a non-motorized pedal vehicle, which include bicycles, tricycles, and unicycles. In 2012, 726 pedalcyclists were killed and 49,000 were injured in traffic accidents (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). According to the NHTSA, pedalcyclist fatalities make up 2 percent of all traffic fatalities each year.
"There are several ways for cyclists to protect themselves in traffic," says Scott Mann, auto accident attorney at Mann Law Offices. "In most states bicycles are considered vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as automobiles. Cyclists should always ride in the same direction as cars and trucks. Stay in the right lane to increase visibility and go with the flow of traffic -- never against it. Bicyclists should also obey all traffic signs, lane markings, and signals."
Cyclists need to yield to other vehicles when appropriate. If there isn't a stop sign posted, slow down and watch for automobiles and pedestrians. Signal before making a turn, ride in straight lines, and do not weave in and out of traffic. Following these basic traffic rules can make your bicycle more visible to other vehicles. Cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings and avoid wearing headsets. Look before turning and ride far enough away from parked cars to avoid collisions with opening doors.
"Most bicycle accidents happen at intersections," says Mike Wyatt, auto accident attorney at Mann Law Offices. "To increase their visibility in intersections, cyclists should wear bright clothing, obey traffic signs, ride defensively, and proceed with extreme caution. Don't take it for granted that automobiles will yield for your bicycle or see you in traffic."
Bicycle and tricycle riders under the age of 10 need to stay on the sidewalk to avoid traffic. Keep a lookout for automobiles driving down alleys or turning into driveways. Before crossing the street, stop at the corner and look both ways for oncoming traffic. Let pedestrians know you are coming by ringing a bell, and verbally indicate which side you are passing on.