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Bicycle Safety in Wisconsin

Posted on in Bicycle Accidents

Wisconsin bike accident attorney, accident liability, Wisconsin injury lawyerUnder Wisconsin law, bicycles are considered vehicles on the roadways, meaning cyclists have an obligation to obey the rules of the road in the same way all vehicles do.  They must also be treated as equal users of the road by other vehicles. Just because they are treated like vehicles, however, does not mean that cyclists are as safe as those riding in vehicles. In fact, bicycles are particularly vulnerable among road vehicles, evidenced by the fact that in 2013, In Wisconsin, one bicyclist was injured or killed every ten hours. There are several measures cyclists can take, however, to reduce the risk of crash, injury, or death.

Bicycle Accidents in Wisconsin by the Numbers

In 2013, there were 958 crashes involved bicyclists in Wisconsin, including 868 injuries and ten deaths. In almost every case where there is a crash between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, the cyclist is injured. Bicycles are not protected in the way other motor vehicles are, but there are several measures cyclists can take to reduce the risk of crash, injury, and death. Most bicycle crashes occur between the hours of 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, after school and commuting home from work hours. It is very important to be extra-vigilant if cycling during those hours.

Best Bicycle Safety Tips

As a cyclist, the best ways to minimize the potential for accidents and to increase safety is to avoid the most common mistakes cyclists make, and to always be prepared to circumvent the common errors motorists make around cyclists. The most important thing you can do while riding a bicycle is to wear a properly fitting helmet. A helmet fits properly when it is snug to your head and rests just above the eyebrows. Wearing a helmet is the single best defense against serious injury.

Also important is to be aware of the traffic around you. Wisconsin law imposes an obligation on those cycling on the roadways at less than normal speed, as this is inherently unsafe. To combat the danger, the law requires that slow-moving bicycles ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, as opposed to riding in traffic. This cuts down on the risk of being hit from behind by another vehicle.

While wearing a properly fitting helmet and riding as close to the right-hand side of the road as possible can help increase your safety on a bicycle, it is the other vehicles that normally cause the accidents. The most common types of accidents between a bicyclist and a motor vehicle involve a motorist failing to yield the right of way when a cyclist wants to make a left turn. Another common cause of accidents between vehicles and bicycles includes when motorists make a right turn on red, without first ensuring no cyclist is present. To combat this, always be alert for cars that put on a turn signal, and slow down and use extreme caution at all intersections.

If You Are Injured as the Result of a Bicycle Crash

No matter how careful you are, accidents do happen, and if there is an accident between a bicycle and a car, the cyclist will likely be the party who is hurt. If you are a bicycle rider who was hit by a car and has suffered injury as a result, you need experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorneys to review your claim and fight for you. Call or email now for a no-obligation consultation and see how we can help you.

Sources:

http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/bike/default.aspx

http://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/safety/education/crash-data/2013/bicycle.pdf

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