It's Springtime, and obviously with the warmer weather we see a lot more cyclists on the roads. In fact, CNN Travel listed Utah as the fifth best state for cyclists.
But before you hop on a bike, we spoke with the personal injury attorney, Craig Swapp, who is an avid cyclist himself, to talk about important things to know when you're out sharing the road.
1. Helmets: "There have been arguments back and forth about the effectiveness of bike helmets, but the most recent studies suggest that bicycle helmets do indeed reduce the odds of head injury, serious head injury, facial injury, and fatal head injury. Worthwhile things to try and avoid! However, wearing a bike helmet isn`t a 'cure-all' solution to cyclist safety."
2. Staying visible: "Like motorcycles, bicycles are much smaller than other vehicles on the road, and drivers simply aren't always looking for cyclists. A surprising number of riders get hit on straight, continuing roads, as opposed to intersections, as many as half of them according to a recent study. During daytime cycling, wear bright, fluorescent colors and if you're going to be cycling during the evening, night, or early morning, make sure you have the appropriate reflectors and lights."
3. Beware parked cars: "While it's not the most common type of bicycle-vehicle accident, 'dooring' is something cyclists need to be aware of especially while riding in urban areas. 'Dooring' occurs when a cyclist is riding by a parked car or line of parked cars and the driver or passenger of the parked vehicle suddenly opens the door, and the cyclist collides with the opened door. Cyclists need to be extra aware when driving by parked cars, and when possible, give a car door wide space between themselves and the parked car. It's also important that Drivers be careful of 'dooring' cyclists. Not only is it dangerous for the cyclist, but the motorist is liable for any injuries to the cyclist and damage to the bike."
4. Carry skills and provisions in case of an accident: "Having water, a charged cell phone, and multipurpose tool are simple but invaluable essentials in case of an accident or even a bike malfunction. Cyclists should also know and review how to do simple repairs like change a flat tire, fix a slipped or skipping chain, and adjust bike brakes. Check out YouTube for how-to videos! Also, if a cyclist is fixing a flat, move far away from the road. If you're a cyclist who has been in an accident, call police to the scene, get the medical treatment you need, then give us a call at Craig Swapp & Associates! Many of our attorneys and staff are avid cyclists themselves. We understand the challenges cyclists face on Utah roads and we're ready to help."
6. Beware of the 'at-fault' default: "After an accident between a bicycle and a larger vehicle, insurance companies are often quick to place the fault of the accident on the cyclist, even when the cyclist is completely or at least partially innocent. An experienced cycling attorney helps the cyclist fight those stereotypes in order to secure fair compensation."
If you're a cyclist who has been an accident, or a driver who has been in an accident, give Craig Swapp & Associates a call at 800-404-9000 or visit them online at craigswapp.com.