STAY SAFE WHILE RIDING A BIKE ON NEW JERSEY ROADS

Summer is a great time to get out on the bike and get some exercise. While doing so, it's important to keep the safety of yourself and your loved ones at the front of your mind, and to take preventive measures to ensure that you remain unhurt while cycling.

Trips by bicycle make up a small portion of all trips taken in the U.S. - only 1%-but bicyclists make up 2% of all fatalities involving motor vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some 743 cyclists were killed in 2013, and roughly 48,000 were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. This is a 19% increase in fatalities since 2010. 57% of these accidents occurred at non-intersections, and nearly a quarter of the accidents occurred between 6 p.m and 9 p.m. at night. While individuals between 20 and 24 years old were most likely to be injured, cyclists between 55 and 59 were most likely to be fatally injured. 20% of those fatally injured cyclists had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, and alcohol was reported to be a factor for either the motor vehicle driver or cyclist in 34% of all crashes.

There are certain steps that cyclists can take to keep themselves safe. It might seem safer to ride a bike when you've been drinking than it would be to drive a car, but you are putting yourself at a huge risk by doing so. Call a friend or family member, or a cab, if you've had too much to drink to ride your bike. While only individuals under 17 years of age are required to wear a helmet in New Jersey, head injury is reduced approximately 85% by bicycle helmet use. Always wear a helmet and other brightly-colored safety garments, as well as flashing safety lights or reflectors on your bike, to ensure maximum protection and visibility to other drivers. If at all possible, remain on roads with a designated bike lane, which have been shown to be effective in preventing accidents.

No matter how careful you are when cycling, there may be motor vehicle drivers who can't see you, are intoxicated, or just aren't paying attention. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bike crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact the knowledgeable Morristown personal injury and accident attorneys at Smith & Doran to determine if you should file a lawsuit. Our attorneys are available to offer a free consultation on your claim throughout the region, including Bernardsville, Whippany, Bergen County, Madison, and Morris Plains. Call today, at 973-292-0016.

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