Across America, more workers are using bicycles for their daily commutes and there is an increase in recreational biking. States and cities are moving quickly to meet the demand for bike lanes on city streets and roadways while educating motorists on cyclist rights to the streets.
Even with a push to make the roadways safer for cyclists, the number of bicycle-related fatalities has increased by more than 40% since 2011. In Connecticut, the CT Crash Data Repository reported three hundred and twenty-four collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles in 2022. Four of these were fatality accidents and thirty involved serious injuries.
Reducing the Risk of a Bike Accident
The best way to avoid bicycle accidents and injuries are to practice preventative safety measures. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the following are ways to reduce the risk of a bicycle accident before setting out for a ride:
Ride a bike that fits your body;
Ride a bike that works;
Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others including a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor);
Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn;
Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bike;
Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain; and
Plan your route as if driving a vehicle on the road. Choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. Your safest route may be away from traffic altogether, in a bike lane, or on a bike path.
Finally, the NHTSA encourages cyclists to ride responsibly and remember that all states require bicyclists on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
Bike accidents happen regardless of any safety precautions used by cyclists. After a bike accident, there are certain steps a cyclist can take to preserve their legal rights and protect their health and physical well-being.
These are as follows:
Call the police and report the accident;
Get medical assistance;
Document the scene and injuries thoroughly using photos and video;
Collect witness and driver information;
Never admit fault;
Follow-up with the police department for a copy of the report;
Attend any aftercare appointments recommended by the urgent care or emergency room doctors; and
Consult with an attorney before making any statements to or signing any documents from an insurance company.
Cyclists who are severely injured and unable to record an accident scene may ask a friend or witness to do so on their behalf. Photos, police reports, medical records, and other documentation assist attorneys in proving a personal injury claim and recovering compensation for victims of bicycle accident injuries.
Contact a Connecticut Bicycle Accident Injury Attorney Today
If you or your loved one suffered bicycle accident injuries through no fault of your own, reach out to the experienced attorneys at Weber & Rubano. Weber & Rubano will review your accident claim at no cost or risk to you.
Connecticut has time limits on filing personal injury claims. Get started on yours today by speaking with a legal professional at Weber & Rubano. We have offices in New Haven and Wallingford.