Biking Accidents and You: 3 Things You Need to Know

Have you been injured by a driver while riding your bike? Here's what you need to know.

With nearly 50,000 reported bicycle accidents in the United States each year, it's no secret that bicycle safety is important. Riding a bicycle can be a relaxing and eco-friendly way to get to work, school, or the store; however, it can carry with it certain risks. Before you hop on your bike and start cycling, there are a few things you need to understand about bicycle accidents and your personal safety. With approximately 800,000 commuters who choose to cycle to work each day, bicycle safety is absolutely imperative. A bicycle accident that involves either another cyclist or a motor vehicle can be quite difficult to deal with. Here's what you need to know.

1. Bicycle accidents can cause long-term damage.

Each year, approximately 900 people in the United States die from injuries related to bicycle accidents. Even if your injuries are not fatal, you may experience very severe side effects from your injuries. According to American Family Physician, common injuries may include facial fractures, rib fractures, pelvic fractures, and musculoskeletal dislocation. Additionally, victims may experience abrasions and lacerations as a result of the accident. Many of these injuries will heal over time; however, some injuries, such as eye problems, may have long-term side effects that can even result in a disability that may prevent you from cycling in the future.

2. Bicycle accidents require medical care.

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, make sure you seek prompt medical care. You should always file a police report, as well as meet with your physician as soon as possible. Many injuries can be carefully managed when they are treated quickly. Additionally, visiting your doctor will ensure you have a medical record that details the severity of your injuries, as well as when they occurred. Even if you feel like you're okay after being injured in an accident, always double-check with your physician. Sometimes, injuries may not present for a few days, so having a baseline after your accident is important.

3. Bicycle safety should be taken seriously..

Whether you're a new cyclist or you're experienced when it comes to traveling on the road, make sure you take your personal safety seriously. This includes taking safety precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. For example, are you wearing reflective gear? Do you have a high-quality helmet? Are you dressing in light colors that enable drivers to see you easily? It's also important that you regularly check your bike to make sure it's in good working order. Are the tires inflated properly? Do your brakes work? Taking a few minutes to double-check the functionality of your bike can make a great difference in your personal safety.

If you've been hit by a vehicle while riding your bicycle, make sure you seek help as soon as possible. Always visit your primary care physician or the emergency room in order to receive medical help. You also need to file a police report promptly in order to record what happened. Once you're safe and stable, reach out to an attorney who can talk with you about your next steps in moving forward.