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Cycling in Traffic-Sharing the Road with Automobiles

Wisconsin Is a Cycling Friendly State

We are a bicycle-friendly state where vehicular cycling is a common sight, especially during the warmer weather months.  Like most states, there are laws in our state to protect bikers from cars.  However, it’s easy to understand why these laws may be challenging to enforce.  For the cycling enthusiast, this places more emphasis on the importance of awareness and self-perseverance.

Bike Crash Statistics

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According to the NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts, there were 818 bicyclist deaths in 2015.  (Approximately two per day) This is far less than the number of pedestrian deaths, or other traffic-related deaths on record; but just as imporant to note as each life lost is tragic.

  • 88% who were killed were male
  • 71% of accidents occurred in urban areas.
  • 20% of bicyclist fatalities happened between 6 and 8:59 p.m.
  • 4-5% of Wisconsin commuters walk or bike to work.
  • 29% of overall cycling injuries were caused when hit by a car

Gathering accurate per capita statistics about cycling accidents involving vehicles is difficult when it is not clear how many total bikes are on the road, where they all are, or how far of a distance they are riding.  Not all car and bike crashes are recorded by police and most data accumulated are simply recorded accident injuries from hospital records.

A Cyclist Injured Has Rights to Compensation

Sadly, we hear about cyclists being struck by motorists all too often. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident caused by a vehicle, or the accident led to the death of a loved one –contact Action Law Offices for a free case evaluation.   Speaking to an experienced accident attorney may not take away the tragic event, or bring back a loved one.  Action Law attornies fight for the rights of injured persons each and every day.  Learn about your rights and take action.

Vehicular Cycling-Avoid Mistakes That Can Cause A Crash

Cycling in traffic means that laws of traffic must be followed.  Riding a road bike through the streets is really no different than the driving a car or truck, except for the risks involved.  To minimize those risks, it’s best to ride where you feel most comfortable and familiar, especially for the less experienced cyclist.  Here are safety tips that if ignored, may lead to some of the most common cycling mistakes:

                  • Educate yourself regarding vehicular cycling, including state laws
                  • Wear a helmet, use a rear-view mirror & carry food/water on long rides
                  • Avoid traffic lanes that are too narrow to share or roads in need of repair
                  • Do not swerve in and out of traffic.
                  • Watch for cars doors that may open unexpectedly, or animals running into the road
                  • Be aware of any vehicle that may try to cut you off
                  • Be ready to make sudden stops but don’t tailgate or brake to hard or too fast
                  • If you can’t keep up with traffic speed, pull over and let them pass
                  • Be predictable to the drivers around you by using hand signals and holding your place in the road at stoplights
                  • Avoid riding at dusk, or in the darkness

                *Other Sources: http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm, http://www.bikewalkalliance.org/

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