The popularity of bicycle riding in Maryland continues to grow. Good exercise, inexpensive transportation, and just plain fun—cycling has a lot to offer. But bicycles offer little in the way of protection on the road, making bicycle safety—for motorists and cyclists—essential.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), there were 686 pedal-cycle involved collisions in 2009, resulting in the injury of 578 people and the death of 10 more. In pursuing compensation for injured cyclists over many years, I find injuries suffered in bicycle accidents are oftentimes severe—involving head and spinal injury, and broken bones.
How do you stay safe on a bicycle? Understanding basic bicycle safety and the nature of bicycle accidents can help. Consider these facts:
- Most bicycle accidents occur in daylight; over 50 percent of fatal accidents occurred between 4 PM and 8 PM in Maryland.
- About 30 percent of Maryland accidents occurred during July and August.
- Alcohol use, by motorist or cyclist, was reported in over one-third of fatal bicycle accidents nationally.
By law, bicycles are considered vehicles in Maryland and accorded the same rights as motorists. Tips for staying safe on a bicycle include:
- Obey all rules of the road.
- Know your ability, bike, and environment.
- Maintain your equipment, wear a helmet, and allow for road hazards and poor weather.
- Be visible and assume many motorists drive distracted.
Have a great ride and stay safe. But if an accident happens, contact Huesmand, Jones & Miles, LLC, our Hunt Valley personal injury lawyers can help.