One of the most frightening experiences for a cyclist is being hit by a motor vehicle while riding. For those who are able to pick themselves and their bike back up and ride on, there is often an overwhelming feeling of relief that they are not dead or seriously injured that the temptation is to get back to their day as soon as possible. But it is important for a cyclist to remember that "not dead" and "okay" are not necessarily the same thing.
Bicyclists fit all walks of life. Some get on their bikes only occasionally, others use their bicycles as their primary mode of transportation, and still others head out on long recreational rides that are dozens of miles long. One thing that is hard to avoid is falling and getting scraped up, a condition that is commonly referred to as road rash. Sometimes falls happen simply because a rider has lost their balance, but other times they happen when a cyclist is hit by a vehicle or because they fall when they turn to get out of the way.
Bike riding is great exercise, and regularly riding, such as for commuting or running errands can do a lot to save money and the environment. But biking has its dangers too. Bike riders are far more exposed to the outside world and vulnerable to injury than those who confined to traditional motor vehicles. While many strive to make bike riding safe for kids, it turns out that the mist vulnerable group is adult male bike riders over age 20. In 2014, data from the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that 551 adult male riders over age 20 were killed on bicycles due to a crash involving a motor vehicle in 2014, roughly five times higher than males under 20, with an even bigger gap between women and girls who ride their bikes. Although statistics between women and girl bike riders are not as dramatic, recent years have also seen an increase in women over 20 who are killed in bike/motor vehicle crashes.
It was recently announced that 81 Connecticut communities are set to receive road safety audits designed to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety this year and next. Connecticut towns that are being audited for road safety include Colchester, Griswold, Norwich, Sprague, and Montville. Yet even if your town is not on this list, you may still reap the benefits of these bicycle safety audits.
In recent months, cycling advocate groups have been vocal in their attempts to persuade lawmakers to consider harsher penalties for drivers who fail to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians. They propose that increasing the fines that are imposed upon drivers will decrease the number of accidents involving bicyclists, and the injuries they will potentially suffer in those accidents. If passed, will it actually make a difference?
Just a quick shout out that Mills Law Firm, LLC will be sponsoring the Christopher Martins' Road Race on December 13, 2015 at 10:20 a.m. We have put away our bicycles for now and have laced up our sneakers to partake in these festivities. I cannot promise that Jack, Crystal, and I will be dressed as Santa's elves, or some other holiday favorites, but we will be racing through the streets of New Haven for this great event.
Of all the people traveling on our roadways - including those in cars, in trucks or even on motorcycles - bicyclists are the ones who are most likely to be the victims of serious injury. In fact, according to statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related death and injury than other motorists, despite the fact that bicyclists account for only roughly 1 percent of all trips taken in the US.
For many cyclists, the first thing they do before any ride is to make sure they are wearing their helmet. After all, safety always comes first.
For countless college students, bicycles are an everyday part of life, even during the winter months. It is how they get to class and, in many cases, may be their primary form of transportation. However, while riding your bike may be both economical and good for your health, it can also be quite dangerous.
While often used to illustrate the determination of the U.S. Postal Service, the phrase that begins with, "[n]either snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night," also aptly describes the resolve of many Connecticut bike riders who must routinely face adverse weather conditions. In fact, for some bicyclists, riding is a year-round endeavor, no matter the amount of snow or slush on the ground.