As Spring approaches here in Southern California, one of the activities I most look forward to is bicycling with my family and friends. The beautiful weather, the smell of the surf and sand, the feel of the sun on my face… it can all make for quite a memorable day, if the proper precautions are taken.
I was saddened to recently learn of the death of a 48-year-old Long Beach resident who was struck and killed by a motor vehicle earlier this month. All too often, this type of tragedy is more common than it needs to be, and oftentimes preventable.
According to the NHTSA, 630 people were killed in bicycle/motor vehicle accidents in 2009, and 51,000 people were injured. Also according to the NHTSA, over one-third of these accidents were alcohol-related, meaning that either the bicyclist or the driver of the motor vehicle was intoxicated upon impact. With a few defensive strategies, each one of us can do our best to prevent unnecessary bicycling accidents.
BICYCLE SAFETY TIPS:
- Always, always, always wear a helmet
- Use reflectors and lights at night to promote visibility
- Make sure to leave room for motorists who are making right hand turns
- Smart phones can be a great convenience, but avoid using them when pedaling through traffic–Just as texting and driving can be a distraction, so can texting and biking
- Likewise, use caution when wearing head phones or using your i-Pod
- Be a good role model—make sure your children wear helmets and that very young children are properly restrained in an age-appropriate child safety seat designed for bicycling
With a bit of planning and a few safety precautions, your biking experience should be an enjoyable one. Even with the best intentions, however, accidents can occur. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, please contact the law offices of Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 for your free consultation or visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com.