Cycling has become an international sensation. Like most sports, there are peaks and valleys of popularity. As much as cycling has always been on the up and up, it’s truly hit a zenith in the past few years. This is especially true since exercising on stationary bikes inside an enclosed room might not be everyone’s comfort level. Going outside to get some fresh air, plenty distant from other people is the perfect exercise for keeping your immune system up and body in shape.
But there’s a dark side to it all, as there is with all active sports. Accidents on a bike are a lot more common than we think. It’s not just the scrapes and the hairline fractures we were used to seeing from when we were kids. Serious and fatal accidents occur all the time. There’s a major risk to sharing the road with massive vehicles going way over the speed limit. But there are even more aspects to this that might get overlooked. Here are a few reasons why bicycle accidents can be so devastating.
Lack of Physical Protection
There’s a simple reason why there is so much more devastation in a bicycle accident. There is much less protection for the cyclist. If you’re in a car, you have a ton of steel and mass that protect you and keep the area where you’re sitting from caving in. In modern cars, the safety features are fantastic. Yes, there are a lot of car accidents, and yes, many end in fatalities. But this is a function of speed and circumstance. Every single year there are better safety features. According to the folks at https://bestbicycleaccidentlawyer.com/, when it comes to bikes, the only kind of advancement is maybe a better helmet. That leaves the rest of the eighty-plus percent of the human body exposed to any harm. A small nudge from a motor vehicle can cause massive damage. That’s something to be avoided, naturally. But how? The answer is a bit more complicated than we’d like.
Bicycle Lanes Are Not Enough
The amount of cyclist-friendly roads in the U.S.A. is laughable. There is no place for people to bike. It’s a sad reality, but the rules of the road accommodate cyclists yet offer almost no protection. Some states have some kinds of safety, but not much. They just have rules saying to “share the road,”—which is patently vague and almost criminally under-regulated. Even in places where there are bike lanes, they end abruptly for a right turn. That’s well and fine, but the nature of the frustrated, rushed, and almost reckless average driver is enough to cause some concern. If you’ve ever been on a bike on the road, you know what the issue is. You’re mere inches away from massive trucks and wild sports cars trying to hit a sharp right like they’re about to win a race. It’s absolute lunacy when you’re going a steady 15 miles per hour on a bicycle.
Hit and Runs
There is a hit and run problem in the United States. There’s a panic moment when it comes to accidents. Plenty of people have the compulsion just to leave after something like that happens. That doesn’t make them a bad person. That is until they do a hit and run. If that happens, the situation becomes criminal in an instant. With cyclists, there is a strange assessment of “minimal damage”.
There is not centralized or wide-spread registration of bicycles. There is not much mass to determine how an accident happened. There isn’t much clear paint transfer. The nature of the bicycle means that cars hit people or tires. Many officers called to the scene just found people sprawled out on the floor with not a lead or a piece of evidence. Other than security cameras, how could one find out? That’s what makes the hit and run so dangerous on a bicycle. They happen often and they’re notoriously difficult to solve.
Insurance companies don’t offer very many protections for cyclists either. There isn’t much of a market for it. Therefore the premiums are high and the coverage is low. Motor vehicles have the most readily available set of protections under insurance. But if you’re on a bike? You’ll be lucky to find something within the budget just to cover part of your medical.
Cycling is a tremendous sport and a wonderful form of exercise. Cyclists must stay safe by any means they can. If you’re planning on making a day out of your cycling routine, please be careful. Always have someone represent you. Always have safeguards. Always err on the side of caution.