Riding a bicycle should be an enjoyable recreational activity. However, many times, bicyclists around the U.S. are injured or killed in crashes. This raises concerns among the biking community nationwide. Unfortunately, North Carolina has seen its fair share of bicycle accidents over the years. The skilled and experienced Charlotte bicycle accident lawyers at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt explain more about bicycle accident statistics and safety tips to avoid accidents and injuries.
How Many Bicycle Accidents Occur in North Carolina?
Despite many efforts to prevent bicycle accidents, thousands of cyclists are injured every year, especially by motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, 2.2% of all traffic deaths in the nation (840) involved bicyclists. According to the NHTSA, most of these accidents occurred between late evening and night. Additionally, the NHTSA stated alcohol was one of the most heavily contributing factors to bicycle accidents in the U.S. during 2016.
The state of North Carolina is no stranger to this reality. Recently, North Carolina released its 2017 Traffic Crash Facts report. According to this report, in 2016, there were 736 bicycle crashes and 18 bike-related deaths reported within the state. According to the same report, in 2017, North Carolina saw an increase in the number of bicycle-related crashes. In 2017, there were 813 bike-related crashes and 30 reported deaths in North Carolina. Due to this reality, North Carolinians should give special consideration to safety when riding their bicycles.
Safety Tips for Bicycle Riding in North Carolina
Every year, the number of people using bicycles to commute to work, exercise, or have fun is on the rise. According to NHTSA, there was a 64% increase in the number of people commuting to work using their bikes from 2002 to 2012 in the U.S. As such, bicyclists need to prepare and make sure to take proper safety measures before and during their bike rides. Here are some useful tips to avoid bicycle accidents in North Carolina.
Prepare All Your Gear
To increase safety, make sure to prepare all your gear in advance. For instance, you should always wear your helmet while riding. Additionally, you should make sure you have reflective lights, proper lighting, and a reflective jacket if you are riding during night time. All your belongings (your backpack, bag, etc.) should be safely strapped to your body or the bicycle if possible. Don’t try to carry more than you can safely transport. Also, make sure your bike’s tire pressure is adequate and safe for riding.
Select Alternate Routes
As a bike rider, you should be aware of the traffic surrounding you. Try to be mindful of the traffic conditions and take alternate routes if they are safer. For instance, if your usual way to work has fast traffic, consider changing to a slower-paced route.
Obey Traffic Laws
Under North Carolina law, bicyclists are assigned the same duties and responsibilities car drivers have. As such, bicycle riders need to follow all rules and regulations while riding your bike. This includes using proper turning signals, yielding the right of way, respecting other pedestrians on the road, and adhering to all other bike riding-related laws.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in North Carolina
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, there are certain things you should take into account. If you are able, place yourself in a safe place and call 9-1-1. Once emergency personnel has taken care of any injuries you and other involved parties may have, report your accident to the police. A law enforcement official will make a report on your accident that can help you down the road. Additionally, make sure you gather as much information as you possibly can. Gathering detailed information about the crash can be beneficial in the future.
The most important information you should collect from all involved parties are names, addresses, date, location of the incident, and any pertinent insurance information. Finally, if you are able, take as many pictures of the accident as you can. All this information can help you in any possible future proceeding. A skilled and experienced lawyer can guide you through the entire process.
North Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
Bicycle riders are at a disadvantage when involved in an accident. They lack most of the safety features car drivers have. When involved in a crash, a bicyclist can suffer devastating injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, back injuries, bone fractures, and other injuries. Many of these injuries may require costly medical treatment and surgery. However, you don’t have to go through this tough time alone. Our experienced North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt can help you fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your potential lawsuit in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (704) 377-3737.