Staying Safe This Summer As A Bicyclist Or Motorcyclist
This summer, bicyclists and motorcyclists may be at a higher risk of being in a serious accident.
During the warm months this summer and going on into the fall, many West Virginia residents will enjoy taking advantage of the nice weather and scenery, traveling by bicycle or motorcycle rather than inside the confines of a car. Bicycling can be great exercise, while motorcycling is a refreshing change for motorcycle enthusiasts. However, the smaller size and flexible maneuverability of both types of bikes can also put them at greater risk of accidents, particularly during the summer months when more riders are on the road.
In fact, says Esurance, overall traffic accidents have been greatest during June, July and August, with more than 3,000 fatal accidents during each month in 2012. Helmet use and an increase in bikers-especially newer, less experienced bikers-on the roads during the summer can contribute to some of these risks, but drivers of other vehicles play a large part in sharing the roads safely with bicycles and motorcycles.
Safety Tips For Bikers
Bicyclists and motorcyclists alike can take several steps to protect themselves from being hurt in an accident. One of the most effective ways to avoid a fatal injury is to wear a helmet; Consumer Reports says that a certified helmet can reduce the risk of death for bikers by 40 percent. Motorcyclists can further avoid accidents by following speed limits and driving safely for road and weather conditions, including using turn signals and not weaving in and out of traffic.
It’s important for bicyclists to realize that their bikes are considered vehicles, and road rules and restrictions also apply to them, says AAA. They should ride in the direction of traffic and use hand signals so other drivers are not confused by their intentions. It can help all bikers to wear clothing that’s easily seen, and to ensure their bikes’ lights and reflectors are fully functional.
How Drivers Can Avoid Causing An Accident
Last March, a car crossed the center of the road and struck an oncoming motorcycle in Harrison County, reported WBOY News. Tragically, the motorcyclist died while undergoing emergency surgery. These types of accidents may be avoided if drivers are always aware of their surroundings and drive safely and courteously. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, other safety tips include:
- Checking mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles or bicycles before turning or changing lanes.
- Driving with extra caution through intersections.
- Giving bikes and motorcycles a longer following distance, since they can stop faster than a larger vehicle.
Additionally, it can help to remember that both bicycles and motorcycles can easily lose control in dangerous road and weather conditions, so nearby drivers need to drive with caution.
Getting Help From An Attorney
Bicycle and motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been affected in such an accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss compensation.