COVID-19 has led to many societal changes, including the types of transportation we choose to use.
As more people work from home, and less people leave their home for meals and recreation, fewer cars are on the road. On the other hand, pedestrian and bike traffic on neighborhood roads has increased during COVID-19.
The National Association of City Transport Officials (NACTO) issued a statement highlighting a boom in bicycling in cities across the U.S. Another study issued by Eco-County, which collects data on bicyclists, reveals that bicycle usage is up by more than 100 percent in the Southwest.
As San Diegans continue to “shelter in place” during the Coronavirus, bicycles offer an enjoyable escape from the living room. However, a rise in the number of cyclists increases the risk of collisions with other motorists sharing the road.
More Bicyclists On The Road Means More Accidents
More cyclists on the road poses a unique challenge as businesses, schools and shops slowly reopen. As more people return to their pre-quarantine routines, more vehicles will likely enter San Diego’s streets. Consequently, there is an increased risk of accidents involving drivers and cyclists - especially in areas that were not frequently used for cycling prior to the pandemic.
Some bike accidents are caused by negligent driving. Others may be caused by poor road conditions or infrastructure issues. Here are just a few common factors that lead to bicycle accidents:
- Texting and driving
- Driving under the influence
- Running a red light
- Failure to yield
- Right of way mistakes
Because cyclists are largely unprotected, a bike accident can cause serious and traumatic injuries. Other than a helmet, there is very little protecting a cyclist from the metal frame of a car. That is why it is so important to pay attention to the rules of the road while cycling. Fortunately, many bike accidents are avoidable.
Reducing Risk of Bike Accidents
Although bicyclists may be at a greater risk of injury in the event of an accident, there are many things you can do to reduce that risk. Whether you are an avid cyclist, or simply dusted off your bike to enjoy a bit of time outside, below are a few tips to keep you safe on the road.
- Wear a helmet. Sure, feeling the wind in your hair as you bike through your neighborhood feels good, but wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury in the event of an accident.
- Follow the rules of the road. Even when you are casually enjoying a bike ride on your beach cruiser, you should follow the rules of the road. Riding your bicycle on the right side of the road, using hand signals before turning and coming to a full stop at intersections will help you avoid a potential accident.
- Wear visible clothing. If you are biking in the early morning or late afternoon, wear clothes that are visible to other motorists on the road. This could be a bright colored shirt, for example, or reflective gear.
What You Should Do If You Are In A Bicycle Accident
If you have been injured in a bike accident, you should call law enforcement. A police officer will investigate your accident and create a report documenting the cause of the accident.
You should also seek immediate medical care after a bike accident. Cyclists are more vulnerable to serious injuries due to the lack of protection, and it is critical that you seek medical treatment for your injuries. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately following the accident, such as whiplash and brain injuries.
After a bike accident, you should also exchange information with any other motorist involved. Be sure to get their name, address, phone number and insurance information. In addition, take photos of the accident scene and any damage to your bike and the car involved. This information will help you as you seek compensation for your injuries.
Lastly, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your bike accident injuries. The legal system continues to operate in spite of the Coronavirus, and getting the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages starts with filing a claim against the driver at-fault for your injuries.
Hiring a San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney
Riding a bicycle in San Diego offers a great escape from the confines of the home during quarantine. Should you find yourself biking more frequently during COVID-19, watch out for the factors that lead to bicycle accidents, wear protective gear and follow the rules of the road.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will ensure you receive the compensation you need to make a full financial recovery. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation.