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Tips for staying safe when riding a bicycle

Bicycling is a common way for people in Portland to get around. It saves money, helps them stay in shape and is good for the environment. Still, there are inherent dangers that bicyclists will face. Since drivers will frequently ignore riders or behave recklessly, it is common for bike accidents to occur. These can cause severe injuries and fatalities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages understanding the dangers and being proactive. Avoiding risks is critical for riders and drivers in enhancing safety. For riders, accidents commonly stem from having a collision with an automobile. The most bicycle fatalities happen from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. In 2017, urban areas had three-quarters of the bicycle fatalities. In that year, eight times more men died in bicycle accidents than women. Alcohol was a factor in 37% of all fatal bike crashes.

Riders can have a better chance at safety by riding a bicycle that suits their body type and size and making certain that it is well-maintained. Bicyclists can also improve their safety on the road by wearing safety equipment, reflectors and brightly colored clothing; riding with one person on a seat at a time; having a backpack to store items rather than carry them; ensuring laces and hanging items are secured to avoid them getting caught; and having a preplanned route.

Regardless of the safety procedures, there are certain dangers that cannot be avoided. Drivers might be distracted, under the influence, reckless, negligent or drowsy. They could simply ignore the law and have no concern for bicyclist safety even though they are legally required to share the road. After a bicycle accident, there can be medical expenses, lost income, long-term damage and death. The victim and the family might benefit from having legal advice from a firm experienced in bike crashes.

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