The summer and autumn seasons create the best time to explore your city or countryside on a bike. Whether you’re riding it to pass the time or to commute from one street to another, cycling can be a great way to enjoy your neighborhood and get some exercise at the same time. However, just like any other form of transport, cycling comes with its own set of risks. Hence, it’s crucial to understand riders’ common mistakes, potential injuries, and how to protect yourself in a bike accident.
In this blog post, you’ll learn what you need to know about bike accidents. You’ll understand the major causes of accidents, how to protect yourself in such a situation, and more.
The Major Causes Of Bike Accidents?
Bike accidents are common occurrences, and there is a high chance you might find yourself involved in one. In the United States, almost 39,000 people have died in vehicular accidents in 2020. In addition, according to the CDC, 130,000 more sustain injuries from bicycle accidents in the United States, which means you must know what causes these accidents. The following are the significant causes of bike accidents:
Speeding is one major cause of bike accidents worldwide. If you’re speeding, this will extend the time required to slow down and reduce your decision-making time on the road. Thus, it’ll increase your chances of colliding with other bikes, oncoming vehicles, or pedestrians. Although high-speed collisions are usually hazardous to the bikers, low-speed collisions can also harm the cyclist majorly. However, bikers can avoid this when they cycle within the speed limit on the roadway and ensure you wear a helmet.
- Dooring Accidents
Dooring accidents happen when a biker runs into a parked car with doors opening into the bike path. These accidents are common in busy streets with heavier traffic, forcing the bikers to ride closer to parked cars. The drivers can prevent this by checking whether there is an oncoming bike or vehicle before exiting their cars.
- Weather Conditions
Weather conditions are another cause of bike accidents. Conditions such as fog or hailstorms can reduce your visibility, increasing your chances of collision. However, you can avoid this by being extra attentive and maintaining the allowed speed limit when riding your bicycle. You can also check your weather updates, and if possible, you can avoid riding your bike in extreme weather conditions.
How To Protect Yourself In A Bike Accident
As mentioned above, there are high chances you might get yourself in a bike accident at least once in your lifetime. You might consider employing the following tips to protect yourself in a bike accident:
- Notify Your Insurance Company
Remember this tip to protect yourself in a bike accident. Depending on your policy, you should get in touch with your service provider within 72 hours of an accident. This will simplify your claim filing and ensure the insurance company reimburses all your expenses for the accident.
As a homeowner, you might wonder, does home insurance cover bicycle accidents in Florida or your locality? The answer will depend on your coverage. Take your time to review the provided policy and identify how you can include other assets such as bicycles in your home insurance cover.
When talking to your insurance company or your agent of claim department, it’s essential to provide all the information relevant to the accident. The report should include the involved parties, any fatalities, how the incident happened, any damages, and more. The service provider will elicit the information in a series of questions. Thus, it’s essential to be as honest and thorough as possible. However, suppose you get a call from the other party’s agent or insurance company. If that’s the case, it’s important to give little information as possible.
- Insist On Calling The Police
After a bike accident, it’s integral to notify the police, even if it’s a minor incident. Sometimes you might not be at fault; thus, the other party may insist on compensating you instead of involving the police. However, the following are why you should call your local police department in case of a bike accident:
- Protect The Accident Scene: Avoid controlling the traffic or protecting the accident scene when an accident occurs. This increases your chances of getting hurt as drivers in passing vehicles and bikes don’t expect to see a pedestrian on the roadway. Instead, a trained police officer can protect and control the traffic, preventing other accidents.
- Call Emergency Medical Attention: After an accident, you might not experience noticeable injuries until hours or days after the incident. However, the local sheriff will make an effort to notify the emergency center, ensuring you get the necessary medical attention and saving you from health issues in the future.
- Obtain An Accident Report: Although you might exchange contact with the involved parties, there is no official evidence that either party can use in a court or any legal procedure. On the other hand, the police will obtain all the necessary information at an accident scene. This includes information about the drivers, insurance companies, how the accidents occurred from involved parties, witnesses, and more. You can use the police accident report as evidence to file for insurance compensation or in the prosecution of your case.
- Stop The Bike Safely And Stay At The Scene
This is another tip you can use to protect yourself in a bike accident. After an accident, take your bike away and put it to the side of the road or any safe place near the accident scene. This will prevent other accidents that could harm you or other road users.
After that, check whether you’re injured and notify the police. Although staying at the accident scene is advisable, you must be cautious of what you say. Using expressions such as ‘I’m sorry’ show the responsibility of the accident, and the other party might use this in a court of law. If it’s not the police, share as few details about the accident as possible. Also, it’s critical to document everything. Take pictures of the involved parties and damages done, and share the information with your insurance company.
As discussed above, there are high chances you might find yourself involved in a bike accident. For this reason, understanding how you protect yourself in such a situation is a must. Therefore, conduct extensive research to identify the measures you can employ to guarantee your safety and that of other road users.