15 Tips for Staying Safe During National Bike Month
Bike Safety in Indiana
Each year, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute releases updated “Crash Facts Publications” which detail the innumerable risks and hazards that Indiana motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists face on a daily basis. Per their previous reports, there are nearly 1,000 bicycle collisions in Indiana each year, a number that is expected to increase by the end of 2019.
To counter this alarming statistic, Indiana lawmakers have been executing critical policy changes to improve road-riding conditions for cyclists throughout the state. However, careless drivers are reportedly taking advantage of new bicycle lanes and sharrows to pass slower vehicles or prepare for turns. If such a driver is distracted or fails to signal their intentions, they could easily injure or kill a passing cyclist.
The Purpose of National Bike Month
Since 1956, the League of American Bicyclists has been sponsoring National Bike Month, a month-long observance that showcases “the many benefits of bicycling” to “encourage more folks to give biking a try.” The organization kicks off this celebration by scheduling national biking events and sharing important safety-related resources. They also take time to promote their Smart Cycling Program, which offers educational videos, classes, and tips regarding bike safety.
Interested in observing or supporting National Bike Month? You can lend your support in the following ways:
- Participate in Bike to Work Week (May 13-19)
- Enjoy a little bicycle commuting on Bike to Work Day (May 17)
- Plan a Bike Month event in your community
- Donate to the League of American Bicyclists
- Share resource materials at your work
- Post official memes on your social media accounts
The personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese have been representing the rights and interests of injured bicyclists since 1997. We are intimately familiar with the various physical, emotional, and financial challenges that typically accompany a severe accident injury. As supporters of National Bike Month, we want to take this opportunity to share a list of 15 safety tips to help you navigate the more-populated neighborhoods and cities of Indiana:
- Prepare a safe biking route in advance
- Complete a basic bike check (ABC Quick Check)
- Wear appropriate safety gear – especially a helmet
- Obey all street signs and signals
- Don’t ride on sidewalks
- Watch out for debris, potholes, and other hazards
- Stay close to the right whenever possible, except when passing
- Use a bell, horn, or your voice to indicate that you want to pass
- Yield to traffic and other bikers
- Stay on well-lit paths
- Wear bright colors during the day and reflective tape at night
- Use a white front light and a red rear light if it’s dark
- Do not use your cell phone
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up
- Avoid drugs and alcohol before a ride
Steps to Take After an Accident
A single moment of driver negligence can result in a collision that alters the course of a cyclist’s life forever. Many accident survivors frantically struggle to maintain their prior standards of living in the face of mounting medical debts and injury-related expenses. Fortunately, there are a few steps a victim can take to protect their rights., Most importantly, contact the Indianapolis bicycle accident attorneys at Wagner Reese as soon as possible. We can investigate the collision, help you complete and file an effective claim, and even negotiate with insurance company representatives on your behalf.
Follow these 8 steps after a bicycle collision:
- Call 911 and report your accident
- Take pictures of your injuries, the vehicle, your bike, and the accident scene
- Write down witness name and phone numbers
- Help the police complete the accident report
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Request a copy of your updated medical record
- Don’t talk to the defendant’s insurance company
- Contact an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer
Per Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, a plaintiff has 2 years to file a claim after being injured by a negligent driver. While this may seem like a long time, it’s critical that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Pursue Justice & Damages
The personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese are proud supporters of National Bike Month and the League of American Bicyclists. We hope that these tips can help you and your family enjoy safe outings this May. However, don’t hesitate to contact our firm if you’re injured by a negligent motorist during your travels. Our Indianapolis bicycle accident lawyers can listen to your story, explain your legal options, and design a case strategy that aims to maximize your claim.
Contact Wagner Reese at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation.