More people are bicycling — and getting injured
Bicycling has become increasingly popular in the last few years. The trendiness of physical activities tends to ebb and flow over time. Currently, cycling is relatively popular, with many people using bicycles to commute to work or get some exercise on the weekends.
More cyclists on the road should mean safer conditions for everyone. When there are more people biking, drivers should become more aware of cyclists, and more communities will invest in bicycle lanes.
Unfortunately, more cyclists out on the road also mean that there are more people getting hurt in collisions caused by people in cars. According to federal injury reports, more than 143,000 cyclists required emergency room care in 2019, and the figures are likely even higher for the last two years.
Motor vehicle drivers should share the road but often forget
Traffic laws allow bicycles on the same roads as motor vehicles. Despite their different forms of propulsion and massively different sizes, motor vehicles and bikes should be able to safely share the roads.
Generally, cyclists have to follow the same rules as other vehicles. They need to follow the flow of traffic, respect traffic lights/signage and signal when they intend to turn or proceed through an intersection.
Unfortunately, a cyclist can invest in a good helmet and follow all the rules and still get hurt. People in motor vehicles have a tendency to overlook cyclists or fail to check for them at all. They might drive headlong into them at an intersection or turn into them when they are headed different ways on the road.
What protects you after a bicycle crash?
In theory, the driver that hit you should have insurance, and that insurance will apply to both the physical injuries and the property damage losses that you incur in the crash.
However, bicycle wrecks can lead to severe injuries, and some drivers may not have any insurance at all despite state laws. Some cyclists will have to file a personal injury lawsuit after a crash to recover their losses. You may also be able to protect yourself with your insurance policy.
Recognizing the risks inherent in cycling to help you enjoy the hobby without contributing to the rising cyclist injury statistics.