Bicycling can be a dangerous way to travel. This is clear from several accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles in Colorado this year. The number of biking injuries may be far more than many thought.
As reported by the Dailycamera, injuries and fatalities can result from a collision between auto and bicycle. Operator fault can vary. A biker sometimes swerves into traffic, causing the accident. Other times, a careless automobile driver is not attentive to his driving and runs into a bicyclist due to no fault of the biker.
Bicycling causes more injuries than most sports
According to the National Safety Council, 2015 injuries related to bicycling exceeded those associated with other recreational equipment. Biking injuries exceeded the combined total of injuries from pools, playgrounds, skateboards and even trampolines. The NSC reports that nearly half a million people received emergency department treatment for injuries from riding bikes.
Bicycling injuries also outnumbered football sports injuries. In sports, basketball injuries were the only sports injuries that surpassed bicycling injuries and only slightly. Fatalities in the year 2015 surpassed over 1,000 when bike riders and motor vehicles crashed.
Safety precautions can save
With an estimated 80 million bicycles traveling the roads with untold millions of automobiles, the NCS notes several safety precautions bike riders can take:
- Know traffic laws — bicyclists must legally follow rules of the road just as automobiles do
- Increase visibility — install reflectors on all sides of the bike and wear bright clothing
- Ride single file, not side by side with fellow biker, and travel in the direction of traffic, not against
- Use hand signals for right and left turns, and practice the left-right-left observation before entering traffic
- Avoid nighttime riding
The NSC also reported that in the first six months of 2015, serious injuries generally from autos jumped 30 percent over the prior year period. Increased dangers involving automobiles in general may mean a higher incidence of bike-auto collisions.
While there is no way to avoid risk entirely, bicyclists can keep themselves safer by remaining cautious and defensive when out on the roads.