Whether you are a casual, recreational bicyclist or bike riding is your primary mode of transportation and a way of life for you, the warm, sunny summer season provides a prime opportunity for you to be outdoors on your bicycle. However, as you hit the trails or roadways this summer in Illinois, it is crucial to protect yourself from potential bike accident injuries by keeping some key safety tips in mind any time you venture out.
Essential Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
In 2018, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a 6 percent increase in cyclist deaths, with nearly 900 bike rider fatalities on record, and here in the state of Illinois, bike riders, among other types of pedal cyclists, contributed to the nearly 3,000 riders who were injured in the year 2017. This data serves as an important reminder that a proactive approach to our safety is a must. Here are three essential tips to keep in mind when riding your bike in the summer season:
Ride early in the day. While longer sunlight hours are nice during the summer, the NHTSA still reports that most bike accidents and injuries occur between the evening hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. It is suggested that you ride earlier in the day, when there is ample sunlight, and to avoid riding at night. If you must bike during nighttime hours, state law requires your bike to have a front light that can be seen from 500 feet away, as well as a rear red reflector that can be seen from a distance of 600 feet.
Ride on the right side of the road. If you are riding with others, remember to always ride single file, as close to the edge of the right side of the road as you can, or in designated bicycle lanes whenever available. Do not forget that you have the same rights as motorists on the roads. This means that drivers are required to yield to you, share the road and give you space, use proper signaling, and obey all the same laws. In common recreational summer areas, such as waterfronts or tourist zones, be especially alert around drivers who may be from out of town and therefore driving distracted.
Ride prepared. Riding in the summer heat can quickly bring about dehydration and fatigue, especially when traveling long distances. It is helpful to be prepared by having a small bag of basic first-aid supplies with you, and of course, plenty of water. In the event of a collision, the more alert and well-rested you are, the better your chances of reacting quickly under any distress. Plan your route when possible, be sure you are comfortable on your bike and have your identification handy should you need to interact with the authorities.
Contact an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer
Negligent drivers abound regardless of the season, but busier summer roadways due to road trips and getaways may place you at even greater risk for bicycle accidents and injury. If you have been hit by a reckless driver while riding your bike, do not hesitate to contact a competent, dedicated Palatine bicycle accident attorney right away. Our team at Newland & Newland LLP is prepared to aggressively fight for your rights and protect your best interests. Call us today at 847-797-8000 to schedule a free consultation.