Many of us have heard the basic rules of bicycle safety over the course of our lives, but with the arrival of summer that advice bears repeating. In this post, we review our mom’s basic biking advice and also provide guidance on what to do to protect yourself legally should you be injured while riding.
Wear a helmet. Always. (That means every time). When your skull is cracked on the curb it won’t matter that you were “just going around the block” or “making a quick trip to the local store.” Put it on!
Unplug. Remove the earbuds. Put the phone away (but take it with you!). Pay attention to your environment. You were given five senses and safe biking, whether in busy metro areas or rural mountain trails, requires you use all of them. (Well, OK, taste might not be that important, but your other senses – see, hear, smell, touch – certainly are). Don’t quibble.
Be visible. Use a light and wear bright or reflective clothing – especially if riding at dawn or dusk. Never assume the driver of the two ton SUV is paying attention. You pay attention for both of you and do what you can to make sure you are highly visible.
Make friends. This means you should not ride alone. Two is better than one, three is better than two, etc. This is especially true if mountain biking in remote areas. And oh yes, a cell phone, fully charged, with GPS tracking is always a good idea in remote areas.
Avoid high traffic times. This is tough for commuter cyclists, we know. But if you have a choice, ride at off-peak traffic times. Avoid narrow roadways and try to select routes with bike lanes.
Take water. Especially when mountain biking. You never know when the chain will break, the terrain or an injury will make for a longer than an anticipated ride etc. Always take water.
Now, if you are hit by a car while cycling, what do you do? If you are a client of Mosher & Skorina, P.C., you would have been advised to purchase uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage, also known as UM/UIM, and you would have confirmed with your agent that your policy covers you when riding a bike. You won’t often find us recommending an insurance company’s product, but UM/UIM coverage is among the best values in the marketplace. This coverage requires your insurance company to compensate you when you are injured by a hit and run driver or by someone who has no insurance coverage or not enough coverage. The coverage applies whether you are in an auto accident, or injured while a pedestrian or cyclist. The coverage includes medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you don’t have it, buy it today and explain to your agent you want to be sure it covers you while cycling.
If you are in an accident while cycling and you are physically able to do so, you should: call 911; get all necessary medical treatment; exchange insurance information with the other party; take pictures of all vehicles and any injuries; report the collision to your insurance company; and call Mosher & Skorina, P.C. at (949) 582-1544. An experienced attorney will review the facts of your matter and provide a free consultation.