National Bicycle Safety Month: Bottaro Injury Lawyers Weighs in on 5 Ways to Stay Safe Biking in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in 2024!

Did you know that May 1 kicked off national Bicycle Safety Month? With national Bicycle Safety Month starting this week and increasingly nice days around the corner, we at Bottaro Injury Lawyers want to raise awareness of bike safety tips we think our Rhode Island and Massachusetts communities should know!

At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we see all different types of personal injury cases. This certainly includes bicycle and pedestrian accidents. While at-fault drivers certainly need to examine their driving habits as well, it is important to us to raise bike safety awareness to help avoid accidents at all costs.

We hope that today’s blog article serves as a reminder to examine your biking habits and to stay safe this spring and summer!

Tip 1: Be Hyper Aware of Your Surroundings.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1,105 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2022. The more and more people turn to biking for commuting to work, getting around town, exercise, and fun, the more we could see this number rise.

Make sure that you are not biking distracted (with earphones in, using your phone, daydreaming, etc.), and stay where others can easily see you. Additionally, bikers must be more aware of road conditions than other motor vehicles (potholes, puddles, wet materials, pebbles, etc.). This is why we suggest being “hyper” aware of everything around you, especially when biking alongside other motor vehicles.

Tip 2: Wear Safety Gear.

In Rhode Island, those fifteen (15) years old or younger must wear bike helmets. In Massachusetts, anyone sixteen (16) years old or younger must wear a bike helmet. Wearing a properly-fitted helmet can reduce the risk of injury after an accident. This is especially important considering how much damage a motor vehicle can cause a person biking – who is inherently at a disadvantage against a 4,000+ pound vehicle.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, wearing a bike helmet reduces serious head injuries by 60%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, and the number of cyclists killed or severely injured by 34%. Even though only young riders are required to wear bike helmets in our communities, we encourage all riders to wear helmets when biking.

Not all helmets are created equal. The Cleveland Clinic encourages consumers to look for a sticker or label that says the gear is U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified.

Tip 3: Obey the Rules of the Road – They Apply to Bikers, Too!

The rules of the road, stopping at stop signs, at red lights, yielding when signage says to, etc., apply to bikers as well. It is also important that bikers ride to the right of motor vehicles, with the flow and in the same direction of traffic. Bikers should abide by pedestrian signage when crossing streets as well.

Tip 4: Don’t Neglect Your Bike

Just because your bike can move doesn’t mean it’s safe to ride. It is important to tune your bike and conduct a safety check before hitting the road. Make sure to check your tire pressure, brakes, and chain. You also want to make sure that the bike you’re planning to ride fits you. If it is too big and you cannot maintain control over it, you should not ride it.

Tip 5: Learn and Use Bicycling Hand Signals.

Bikes, of course, do not have turn signals or other devices that can help motor vehicles understand your riding path. Instead, bike riders should use hand signals. At the very least, bikers should use their left and right arms, respectively, to signal which way they plan to turn.

We hope that these tips serve as a nice safety reminder during national Bicycle Safety Month. However, at the end of the day, accidents happen. We cannot stop or otherwise control careless driving. If a driver injures you while you are biking, call us to discuss your case!

It’s Good to Know Mike Bottaro – 24/7 Top-Rated Personal Injury Help

At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people.  Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  We can even help on cases in other states as well.  We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results.  Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case.  Text or call us at 401-777-7777, or fill out our free and confidential online form.  We are here to serve and help you!

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