May is National Bike Safety Month. Bike fatalities and bike accidents with other vehicles plague the whole of Massachusetts in cities, on college campuses, and in rural areas alike. Because bicyclists have very little protection against cars or other large vehicles, the effects are more often than not, very severe. Unlike riding in a car, where the driver and passengers have protection such as seat belts, airbags, and other protection, bicyclists´ only protection is a helmet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2009 alone, 630 cyclists were killed in the United States. In addition to this, 51,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic accidents. Cyclist deaths thus made up 2% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities. Approximately 70% of all bicycle fatalities happen in urban centers where there are more cars and bikes on the road. The NHTSA also reports that bicycle helmets are 85% to 88% effective at preventing head injuries and death. However, the statistics show that less than 25% of all bicyclists wear a helmet.
Here in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) have joined forces during National Bicycle Month to create Bay State Bike Week, from May 14th to 20th. Throughout the week, statewide events will be held to celebrate bicycle transportation and to promote bike safety.
In order to ensure a safe ride and to help prevent collisions with cars, here are some valuable safety tips:
• Always wear a helmet.
• Know the rules: just like motor vehicles, bikes must stop at stop signs and red lights, and only proceed when the light is green.
• Make sure your bike is in good condition before riding, especially if it has been neglected during the winter. Check the brakes, wheels, and tires.
• Always keep an eye out for open car doors, especially on narrow or busy streets.
If you have been involved or injured in a bicycle accident in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest to contact a Massachusetts bicycle accident lawyer.
Bay State Bike Week, Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Bicycles, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Related Blog Posts:
74-year-old Bicyclist Killed in Boston
SRPEDD Releases List of 100 Most Dangerous Intersections in SE Massachusetts
Sedan Injures Boy on Bike in Lowell Traffic Accident
If you have been injured on the road, an experienced Massachusetts accident lawyer can advise you.