A brief guide to accident prevention when riding a bike
Population growth and traffic congestion in large cities has forced us to consider alternate means of transportation to and from work and home. Economical and fast, commuting by bike can be a good option.
Besides saving time and money, riding a bike is good for your health. Scientific studies have shown that riding a bike for 30 minutes a day can:
- Help prevent diabetes.
- Lower the risk of heart attack.
- Reduce cholesterol.
- Increase emotional well-being.
Since 2008, New York has been encouraging the use of this ecological means of transportation by increasing the number of bike lanes on the streets of Manhattan. Although the city still has the highest number of cars per square mile, every day more people are using bikes on streets jammed with cars that cause pollution and lower our quality of life.
Bikers face a challenge when negotiating the crowded streets; there is still much room for improvement in the laws so that drivers, bikers, and pedestrians can safely share the roadways without a high risk of auto accidents.
Most accidents occur because of inattention on the part of the driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. He or she reacts out of fear rather than aggression. If you do find yourself facing aggression, remain calm and don’t react aggressively in return.
Records show that the number of bicycle accidents has gone down by 72% over the last 10 years. Nevertheless, you never know when an accident might happen, and it’s best to be prepared:
- Never go out without a form of identification.
- Always have the name and phone number of someone to contact in case of emergency.
- Carry a cell phone with which to make calls.
- Grupo MedLegal’s mobile app will send you alerts at the press of a button.
If you have a bicycle accident, remain calm and make sure you’re all right. Test your joints and muscles and make sure there are no open wounds.
If it was the fault of the driver of a car, take note of the license; memorize it or take a photo. Notify your family and friends. Even if the accident was minor, you should be evaluated by a doctor. The medical record may be used as evidence in court or for insurance. Don’t sign anything; remember that you have the right to remain silent until there is a lawyer who specializes in traffic accidents present.
In conclusion, it’s wise to be informed and prepared for any situation that may occur when using a bicycle as a means of transportation. New York, with the support of the community, the authorities, and urban planners, has great plans to increase the number of bike paths in the city.
For your information, May 16th is Bike to Work Day, an annual event in which cyclists across the country ride their bikes to work to encourage commuting by bicycle for the good of the environment.