We all know the upsides. Biking helps the environment (and your wallet) by not using gasoline. You get great exercise. You make friends with other bikers. And it’s a lot of fun.
But biking has its downsides too. Not every road has a bike lane. Bikers often have to share a lane with car drivers. And those drivers may not be looking out for bikers.
Car drivers and passengers are more protected from an accident. They are surrounded by advanced construction, super strong metals, air bags, and other technologies designed to protect occupants from other vehicles and objects. But bikers do not have the same protection. If a biker is hit by a car, his or her body could take a direct hit or be thrown, causing serious injuries. Even if a biker is not actually struck by a car, if a car comes towards a biker, the biker may have to swerve to avoid an accident and could end up falling to the ground.
A few precautions can decrease the risk of an accident while biking. First of all, obey the traffic rules. Stay in the bike lane, if there is one; look out for drivers; and try not to bike dangerously (don’t weave in and out of traffic!). Also, always wear your helmet.
Unfortunately, even the most cautious biker could have an accident. If you are in an accident, contact the police and seek immediate medical attention if necessary. Make sure to get the insurance information from the driver and, if you have car insurance, be sure to tell your insurance company about the accident as well. If you are hurt, you may be entitled to damages. You may want to talk to a lawyer.
And bikers: we know how much you care about your bikes. If your bike is damaged, you may be entitled to damages that will allow you to repair or replace your bike.