Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Cycling Safety

cyclist

Personal injury lawyers don’t just assist vehicle drivers and their passengers. They also assist cyclists who have been injured on the road. Due to their lack of protection, cyclists often suffer particularly serious injuries following a collision with a vehicle.

According to an article in American Family Physician, most bicycle-related injuries happen to the upper or lower extremities. Other common injury locations are the face, head, abdomen and neck. While most injuries are relatively minor, such as abrasions and lacerations, head injuries occur in up to 47 per cent of injured cyclists. As would be expected, the most serious injuries are often due to a collision with a vehicle.

Cycling injuries are all too common. Around 7,500 cyclists in Canada are seriously injured every year, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). Most cycling crashes and injuries occur during the afternoon rush hour, while most cycling deaths from vehicle collisions occur on city roads as opposed to rural roads. You can find more bicycle statistics on the CAA website.

These are the major risk factors for cyclists, according to Transport Canada:

  • Time of Day – Hours between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. are riskiest
  • Location – 39 per cent of cycling fatalities and 64 per cent of serious cycling injuries occurred at intersections
  • Traffic Controls – 30 per cent of cyclists who were killed and almost 38 per cent who suffered serious injuries were involved in crashes at road locations with traffic signals or other traffic control signs
  • Urban Areas – 56 per cent of cycling fatalities and 85 per cent of serious cycling injuries occur in urban areas 
  • Rural Roads and Highways – nearly half of cyclist fatalities occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 80 km/h or higher 
  • Conspicuity – 30 per cent of cycling fatalities occurred at night or in artificial lighting conditions 
  • Age – cyclists aged 24 years and younger have considerably higher fatality rates and serious injury rates than the rates for the entire population

Besides being aware of the risk factors above, you can reduce your chance of becoming a cycling statistic by following these safety tips from Transport Canada:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Always obey the rules of the road
  • Use a light (front and back) at night
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing when riding, especially at night
  • Be vigilant at both intersection and non-intersection locations, especially in urban areas
  • Never assume that motorists will yield, even if you have the right-of-way

These additional safety principles are offered by The Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria in its Cyclist’s Collision Checklist:

  • Maintain your bicycle in good working order
  • Be as visible as possible to others
  • Learn the skills needed to control your bike
  • Cycle in traffic safely and predictably
  • Know and obey the rules of the road

This humorous video offers 12 tips for safe cycling.

The Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research also offers tips for safe cycling: http://injurypreventioncentre.ca/

More more safe cycling tips for adults, watch this video.