Omaha, Nebraska Residents Biking More During COVID-19: How to Avoid Bike Accidents
According to the Guardian, bike ridership in the U.S. is up during COVID-19. Bike stores are seeing higher demand and the National Association of City Transport Officials notes an increase in bike riding in American cities. Not only does bike riding allow people to be active in a socially distant way, it offers people an excellent alternative form of transportation. There have been reports that essential workers who formerly used public transportation like buses and subways have transitioned to riding their bikes to avoid crowded public transportation. According to Outside Magazine, families who have been looking for ways to keep kids and adults active during lockdowns have rediscovered biking. Outside Magazine notes that children’s bike sales increased in March by 56 percent and adult bike sales increased by 121 percent. The groups of people looking to take up biking include families with children looking for ways to get outside in a safe manner during the pandemic, adults who are trying to find alternative forms of exercise in the wake of gym and pool closures, and essential workers looking for ways to commute that don’t involve taking the bus or public transportation. Some cities have even become more bike-friendly during the pandemic, with city officials closing down busy streets to make biking safer.
And yet, as lockdowns ease and as stores and communities re-open, we should expect to see more car traffic on the road. With more cars comes added risk of bike crashes as vehicles and bicyclists once again need to learn to share the road. While many cyclists have expressed optimism that the pandemic will help cities see the potential for making their cities more bike-friendly, much work still needs to be done. How can you keep yourself safe if you plan to do more bike riding in Omaha, Nebraska during COVID-19? And what can you do if you’ve been involved in a bike crash in Omaha, Nebraska? Rensch & Rensch Law is a personal injury lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska that is here to help.
Bike Safety Tips
If you plan get on a bike and hit the road, there are some basic things you can do to stay safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the first thing everyone can do to stay safe when riding is to wear a helmet. What are some other things you can do to stay safe? The NHTSA notes several things bicyclists can do. These tips include:
- Finding a bike that properly fits you.
- Check brakes and tires and don’t ride a bike that doesn’t work.
- Use lights when riding at night and wear reflective clothing if you plan to ride at night.
- Plan your route and use bike lanes when possible.
Bike riders are also required to follow the rules of the road—the same laws that apply to cars apply to bike riders. So, bike riders should obey stop signs, red lights, ride with the flow of traffic, and take steps to drive defensively. Unfortunately, sometimes even the safest riders still get hit by cars. Because bike riders are vulnerable road users, the people most likely to suffer injuries in these accidents are the bicyclists. What can you do if you or someone you love was hurt in a bike accident? Rensch & Rensch Law is a personal injury law firm in Omaha, Nebraska that may be able to help you seek damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses if you’ve been hurt in a bike crash.
Steps You Can Take If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bike Crash in Omaha, Nebraska
According to Outside Magazine, there is no national data on how many bicyclists are injured in crashes involving cars or falls. We do know that hundreds of people are killed every year in bike accidents. Interestingly, Outside Magazine reports that when bike accidents are reported by the media, journalists can sometimes make key mistakes in terms of assigning blame for the crash. In many reports, the language is phrased as “a car hit a bicyclist” which takes away the blame from the driver and puts it on an intimate object, the car. In some instances, journalists might write something to place blame on the biker, like noting that the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet or wasn’t wearing bright clothes. Of course, a helmet can only do so much if a driver was speeding and a light or bright clothing will be meaningless if a driver is texting and driving. While many police officers strive to get police reports right, there are also instances where police bias against bike riders can play a role in what ends up in the report, and whether the driver is charged for his or her actions. According to Outside Magazine, in only one-third of fatal bike, motorcycle, and pedestrian fatalities were drivers charged.
If you’ve been hurt in a bike crash in Omaha, Nebraska, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights. Always make sure that everyone involved in the crash is safe, seek medical attention for injuries, and call the police to make a police report. Exchange contact information with the other driver and get the driver’s insurance information. If there were witnesses, get their names and contact information. Finally, if you’ve been hurt, your bike has been damaged, or you have questions about your rights when it comes to seeking damages for your medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, and other losses, reach out to Rensch & Rensch Law, a personal injury law firm in Omaha, Nebraska today.