Bicycles can be an excellent form of transportation, but there are inherent risks when a cyclist takes to the streets. Motor vehicles sharing the roadway pose a significant hazard to bike riders. Due to their small size, many motor vehicle operators fail to notice bicycles in the vicinity. In addition, there is usually a very large difference in speed between a motor vehicle and bicycle. These factors increase the chances of a collision where cyclists are also extremely vulnerable in an accident given the great disparity in weight and speed between the vehicles.
Cyclists must also be wary of other potential hazards. Collisions with pedestrians and other cyclists are also fairly common. As bicycles are virtually silent in operation, other people are often unaware when one is approaching. Also, having only two wheels can make bicycles difficult to control under adverse conditions such as slippery roads or high winds. To make cycling as safe as possible, riders should remain alert, wear a helmet at all times (note that New Jersey has a helmet law for cyclists under age 17) and observe the relevant cycling laws.
Research indicates that New Jersey exceeds the national average when it comes to cycling accidents. This might be attributable to the state’s population density and busy roads. Also, vacation sites such as the Jersey Shore attract bike riders, as well as drivers who might be distracted by other things. The abundance of people and vehicles of all types pose a greater risk of accidents.
Cyclists often suffer a wide range of injuries in road accidents. Head trauma is common, especially when the rider is not wearing a helmet. Many cyclists also require medical treatment for damage to internal organs, broken bones, fractures and contusions. Leg and arm injuries are prevalent, as these are usually the first body parts to hit the ground after a collision. Anyone involved in a bicycle accident should immediately seek professional medical attention to prevent exacerbating their injuries and suffering avoidable complications. Accident victims should also consult a qualified bicycle accident lawyer who can advise them on pursuing compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Seigel Law in Ridgewood is a highly respected personal injury law firm practicing throughout North Jersey. If you or someone in your family has been injured in a bicycle accident, feel free to call 201-444-4000 or contact us online for a consultation.