The warm weather during the summer months makes it a perfect time for cyclists to enjoy all the statewide and local events that Virginia offers. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm for cycling also means that there will likely be a significant number of bicycle accidents that take place across the state, as well, with many victims suffering serious, if not fatal, injuries. According to statistics from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA), while bicycle accidents are on the decline, the number of bike accident fatalities increases each year. There are approximately 45,000 reported bicycle accidents that claim the lives of about 800 victims each year.
Whether for recreation or exercise, Virginia offers numerous parks with bike trails and paths. Many Virginia cyclists also use bikes as a primary mode of transportation. No matter why you ride, the reality is that you are at risk of catastrophic injury if you are involved in a crash with a vehicle. There is no barrier between a bike and a vehicle. This is why even a minor crash can result in serious injury to the cyclist.
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There are steps that a cyclist can take to help keep safe while they are riding. According to the League of American Bicyclists, one of the most important things cyclists can do is to make sure their bike is properly maintained. Before embarking on any ride, cyclists should always check to make sure that the brake system of the bike is working properly. The air in the tires should also be checked, as well as making sure all chains and cranks are well lubricated and securely attached to the bike.
Cyclists should also always wear the proper riding gear in order to help minimize injury if they are in an accident. This gear includes a certified safety helmet, closed toed shoes, long sleeves and pants to help protect against road burns, and gloves to help keep a better grip on the bike.
Once a cyclist begins their ride, the following safety tips should always be adhered to:
- Cyclists should always be aware of the bike laws in the area they are riding in.
- Cyclists should always be careful when riding on gravel roads.
- Cyclists should always make eye contact with drivers in vehicles that are around them in order to make sure the drivers see them.
- Cyclists should always ride on the right side of the road, along with the traffic.
- Cyclists should always signal when taking turns.
- Cyclists should always stay off unmarked and dangerous trails.
- Cyclists should always yield to traffic when crossing streets and when riding in busy lanes.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you were injured in a bicycle or any other type of right of way motor vehicle accident, it is critical not to delay contacting a Virginia bicycle accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton right away, especially because important evidence at the scene of the incident needs to be analyzed, or we may need to put out letters demanding preservation of evidence to other parties. Virginia injury laws have strict rules regarding how long you have to file your personal injury claim. If the statute of limitations expires without the suit having been filed. you will be unable to collect financial damages for any medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, or any other losses you may be entitled to.
After graduating cum laude from law school at the University of Richmond, Seth practiced personal injury law out of Roanoke, Virginia and in Hampton, Virginia before joining Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp where he represents personal injury clients in both state and federal courts. In 2016, he was named as a Virginia “Rising Star” lawyer by Super Lawyer’s magazine, an honor bestowed upon only 2.5% of attorneys in the state.