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How to Not Get Hit By Cars: Bicycle Safety

Even though gas prices are dropping, many people in Las Vegas are choosing to get around using their bicycles either instead of or in addition to their cars. Whether you are concerned about physical fitness, environmental issues, or cost savings, bikes can provide a great alternative mode of transportation. Unfortunately too many people are hurt or killed in bicycle accidents each year, often when they are struck by motorists. That is why it is important for you to know the best ways to avoid these accidents before you use your bike.

How Common are Bicycle Injuries?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while “only 1% of all trips taken in the U.S. are by bicycle, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and death than occupants of motor vehicles[.]” According to the agency’s statistics, in 2010 almost 800 bicyclists were killed in the United States, and approximately 515,000 emergency room visits were due to bike-related injuries. Adolescents and adults over age 45 have the highest bicycle death rates while people aged 5-24 have the highest rates of nonfatal bike-related injuries. Most of the deaths happen in urban areas, and at non-intersection locations.

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How to Prevent Bicycle Injuries

According to the CDC, using properly fitting bicycle helmets is key to minimizing the impact of being in an accident on your bike. However, the best method of preventing injuries, of course, is preventing accidents from happening in the first place. The City of Mesa, Arizona has actually created a great pamphlet called “How Not to Get Hit by Cars” which is available online. The pamphlet details various types of car versus bicycle collisions and provides helpful advice on how cyclists can avoid each type of collision. Some general tips from the pamphlet that can help you avoid any type of accident include:

  • Use a headlight if you are riding at night. Reflective and brightly colored clothing can also help drivers to see you.
  • Ride far enough to the left so you can avoid car doors that are opened unexpectedly.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic. If you ride against traffic you are at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident.
  • Do not ride on sidewalks. Darting between sidewalks and the roads makes it difficult for drivers to know what you are doing and where you are going to be. Additionally, riding on a sidewalk could lead to you seriously injuring a pedestrian.
  • Do not stop in a car’s blind spots. A common mistake amongst cyclists is the a tendency to pull up alongside a car while waiting at a red light. If that driver does not see you and he or she decides to turn when the light turns green, you can be hit. Therefore it is better to pull up behind the car just as you would if you were driving a car so that everyone else on the road can see you.
  • Us a mirror to monitor traffic.
  • Avoid swerving in and out of the parking lane.
  • Avoid busy or narrow streets.

Call Naqvi Injury Law

Sometimes no matter how careful we are we still wind up being involved in accidents. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a bicycle accident in the Las Vegas area, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Naqvi Injury Law today. Our number is (702)553-1000. When you call we can schedule a free consultation.