May 2013

Cycling Safety a Spring Focus in Rhode Island, Massachusetts

With spring and summer being the prime time for bicycle riding, May is the perfect opportunity to take a minute to think about bicycle safety. 

Our Fall River, MA bike accident attorneys know that National Bike Safety Month serves as an important reminder to drivers, bicycle riders and parents of bicycle riders about the importance of bike safety. This year, part of the Bike Safety efforts will also include Roll Model, which is a campaign to remind parents to set a good example for their kids when riding.

Bike Safety Tips

As part of the Roll Model Campaign, the Department of Transportation urges parents and caregivers to follow some basic bicycle safety tips and to teach their children these tips through setting a good example. Some of the different things that bike riders should do to stay safe include:

  • Wearing a properly fitting helmet every bike ride.
  • Following the same laws as motor vehicles during every bike ride.
  • Using appropriate hand signals to communicate with cars.

The DOT also recognizes that drivers play a major role in keeping bicycle riders safe. Drivers are expected to obey the rules of the road as well, and should also be cautious when bike riders are on the road. To help reduce the risk of becoming involved with a bicycle accident, drivers are urged to:

  • Treat bike riders respectfully when driving.
  • Be patient when passing bicycle riders and pass only when it is safe to do so.
  • Leave at least three feet between the car and any bicycles on the road.
  • Avoid using cellular phones or texting while driving.

The DOT suggests that all adult drivers, whether they are bike riders or not, should follow these safety tips while driving in order to make the roads safer for riders.

The Dangers of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle riders are at risk of accidents for many different reasons, including drivers not paying attention or drivers not obeying the rules of the road. The risks of accidents decreases, however, when the safety of bicycle riders is taken into account. This means that states and cities with bicycle paths, with educational programs, and with safety laws in place are all better for bike riding.

Each year, the states are ranked in terms of how friendly they are to bicyclists and how safe bike riders are. For 2013, the Detroit Free Press has Rhode Island as number 25 on the list of bike friendly states. This means that about half of the states are doing better at protecting bicycle riders than Rhode Island.

Rhode Island clearly has room for improvement, and celebrating National Bike Safety Month is a good start. If every driver is cautious about protecting the rights of bicycle riders, then riders will be safer and the chances of an accident will be reduced. This can help to protect victims of all ages: While kids may be the victims of bike accidents a lot, the average age of a bicyclist killed is age 41.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact an experienced bike accident lawyer at 508-677-4900. The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl  serves clients in Providence, R.I., as well as Foxborough and Fall River, Mass.

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