As the season changes from summer to autumn in Texas, many of us will spend more time riding our bikes in the beautiful, mild weather that will finally nice enough to enjoy. Though bicycling is a great form of exercise and a great way to conserve energy, there are serious dangers for cyclists on Texas roadways.
Beware of Distracted Drivers
Often, cyclists collide with cars, SUVs, pickup trucks or buses because the drivers are distracted in some way. When this happens, more than likely it is the cyclist who is going to be seriously injured or killed, not the vehicle’s driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2% of all traffic deaths and 2% of all crash-related injuries in 2012 involved cyclists.
By being aware of the following statistics on bicyclist fatalities, you stand a better chance of staying safe on your bike ride:
- 48% of bicyclist deaths happened between 4 p.m. and midnight in urban areas.
- About 9 out of 10 of cyclists who were killed while riding were male.
- One out of four cyclists who died in crashes had illegal alcohol levels or .08 or higher.
Know and Follow the Rules of the Road
The Texas Department of Transportation urges cyclists to follow the rules of the road, including using proper signaling, stopping for lights, wearing visible attire and wearing a helmet at all times. Motor vehicle drivers need to make more of an effort to pay attention to cyclists on the roads and give them more room.
If you do become injured by a motor vehicle while riding your bike, your financial stability can be seriously affected by medical bills and time off work. In addition to this, the insurance company of the driver who hit you will argue that you should have yielded the right-of-way to the motor vehicle. They are wrong.
Don’t Go It Alone
Cyclists in Texas are entitled to use roadways but are often treated unjustly by insurance companies. These companies will attempt to pay you as little as possible, or nothing at all. Make sure you have representation from an experienced attorney if you find yourself, or someone you love, seriously injured or killed by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle. Don’t fight the insurance company alone!