Spring is here, and South Carolina is a beautiful state to get out on your bike and explore. Not only can you get a bit of exercise in, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get where you need to be, you can also reduce your carbon footprint while you’re in the process. If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in a bicycle accident, on the other hand, you’re facing a long and difficult path toward renewed health and well-being. Still, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled and that you will need on your journey toward recovery.

The Statistics of Bike Accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares the following statistics related to bike accidents in the United States:

  • Bike trips make up only one percent of all trips taken, but bicyclists are at far greater risk of being injured in traffic accidents than the occupants of other vehicles are.
  • In 2015 alone, there were more than 1,000 bicyclist traffic fatalities, and there were almost 467,000 injuries caused by bike accidents.
  • The lifetime medical costs and the expense of lost productivity related to bike accidents amounted to $10 billion in 2010 alone (the last year for which comprehensive data is available).

In other words, bike accidents happen far too often, and they are far too dangerous.

Are You at Risk?

No one can blame you if you enjoy getting out on your bike and riding, but knowing how many of the most relevant risk factors apply to you could help you stay safer out there when you head out on two wheels:

  • Those who are at the highest risk of being injured in bike accidents are people aged 50 to 59.
  • Those who experience the highest risk of suffering nonfatal injuries in bike accidents are children who are between the ages of 5 and 14 years and adolescents (children who are between the ages of 15 and 19 years). These groups account for more than one-third of the total bike-related injuries that ERs see each year.
  • Males are six times more likely to die in bicycle accidents than females are, and males are four times more likely to be injured in bicycle accidents than females are.
  • The majority of bike fatalities happen in urban areas and in locations that are not intersections.
  • 37 percent of bike fatalities involve alcohol (on the part of either the motorist or the bicyclist).

Making safety your top priority is always paramount. If you see yourself or your children in these statistics related to risk, it’s a good time to redouble your safety efforts.

Biking More Safely

When you’re on your bike, always follow the safety rules of the road and teach your children to do the same. Further, never let your children ride on the street until they are old enough, mature enough, and experienced enough to do so safely. Some of the important steps you can take to help you stay safe when you are on your bike include:

  • Always wear a safety helmet that meets all applicable safety standards.
  • Wear a bright piece of outer clothing that is easy to see in the day and a piece of outer clothing that is reflective if you must ride at night.
  • Stick to bike lanes, paths, and trails whenever it is safe for you to do so.
  • Pay special attention to intersections (points where traffic from all directions converges). Remember that, because of your small size when you’re on your bike, it’s more difficult for other drivers to see you, gauge your distance from them, and guess your speed, which means you should only enter intersections with extreme caution.
  • Remember that motorists don’t always pay adequate attention to bicyclists in their midst, so always proceed as if they don’t see you in the first place.

When You’re on Your Bike, You’re Vulnerable

When you’re on your bike, you’re more vulnerable than nearly anyone else on the road. Consider the following:

  • When you’re on your bike, you don’t have the protective shell that others are afforded by their cars, trucks, and SUVs, leaving you far more susceptible to serious injuries if an accident occurs.
  • When you’re on your bike, you enter the flow of traffic, but you lack the power and speed to move in and out of that traffic freely in the event of an emergency.
  • Because of the relatively tiny amount of space you take up on the road when you’re on your bike, it is far easier for you to get lost in a motorist’s blind spot, which leaves you vulnerable to being hit when the driver changes lanes.
  • When you’re on your bike, you’re more susceptible to the condition of the roadway, to the effects of inclement weather on the roadway, and to debris on the roadway, all of which can cause or exacerbate dangerous accidents.

Your Damages

The damages (or losses) associated with bike accidents are often overwhelming and can include all of the following:

  • Medical costs that begin with emergency care and extend well beyond, such as surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, pain management, and much more
  • Lost earnings that can evolve into a decrease in earning potential (if you are able to return to work at all)
  • â—Ź      Emotional and physical pain and suffering that can be exceptionally difficult to process, not to mention overcome

Don’t Wait to Contact an Experienced South Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bike accidents are among the deadliest accidents on our roadways, and they happen far too often. If someone else’s negligence leaves you injured in a bike accident, the practiced bicycle accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina are well positioned and well prepared to help guide your claim toward its optimal resolution. Your health and recovery are far too important to leave to chance, so please don’t wait to contact us at 864-388-9100 for more information today.