Ride Safe Bicycle Safety
Did you know that several members of Henson Fuerst are avid cyclists?
We especially understand the importance of promoting awareness and education about cycling safety. Motorists and bicyclists have an obligation to share the road and help keep one another safe from harm.
Unfortunately, every year hundreds of people are seriously injured, or even killed, while riding their bicycle right here in North Carolina. In fact, a 2015 survey using data collected from the U.S Department of Transportation found that North Carolina was one of the Top 10 Most Dangerous States for Cyclists.
Sharing the road requires both drivers and cyclists to understand their rights and responsibilities.
In North Carolina, a bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle, which means bicyclists are protected by the same laws that apply to drivers. Unfortunately, when bicycles share the road with larger, faster passenger vehicles it can lead to serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cyclists face a higher risk of being fatally injured in a crash-related accident compared to occupants of motor vehicles. Bicyclists have a right to safely share the road, but there are several important steps that every cyclist can take to reduce their risk of being involved in a crash.
To help ensure a safe riding experience, cyclists should:
- Wear a bicycle helmet.
Wear your helmet during every ride! Studies have shown that bike helmets significantly reduce the risk of head and brain injury. Bicyclists under age 16 are required to wear helmets under North Carolina law.
- Increase your visibility.
Use lights and wear bright colors and reflective materials, especially if you are planning on biking after dark. Nearly half of all bicyclist fatalities occurred between the hours of 4 p.m and midnight according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
Use hand signals to communicate intended movements and ride in the same direction as the traffic on your side of the road. Click here for a complete list of Bike Hand Signals.
- Keep kids safe.
Secure child passengers who are under 40 pounds or 40 inches in child seats or bicycle trailers.
Motorists also have a responsibility to keep the roads safe for everyone. Due to the huge disparity in size between passenger vehicles and bicycles, it is extremely important for drivers to be mindful of bike safety at all times.
When operating a vehicle:
- Be especially watchful for bicyclists in neighborhoods, around intersections, and along rural roads.
- Be engaged—don’t drive distracted.
- When passing by a bicyclist, slow down and check over your shoulder to make sure you have allowed a safe distance before merging back in the lane or making a right-hand turn.
- Make eye contact with a bicyclist who has stopped at an intersection and yield when appropriate.
HensonFuerst attorneys have contributed articles to Endurance Magazine, a resource focused on educating, inspiring, and motivating athletes of all levels and abilities. For information on cyclist safety, view the following articles:
Henson Fuerst is Here to Help
At Henson Fuerst, we want to make sure that all North Carolina motorists arrive at their destination safely. For more information about what to do if you’ve been involved in a Bicycle Accident that was not your fault, click here. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries while riding your bike due to someone else’s negligence, call Henson Fuerst right away at (919) 781-1107 or fill out a free consultation form online.
When you call Henson Fuerst, you will speak with one of our dedicated, experienced North Carolina Bike Accident attorneys absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your accident at no cost to you, and fight hard to secure the full compensation you deserve.