National Bike Safety Month Aims to Prevent Bicycle Accidents

May 16, 2013

National Bike Safety Month is taking place in May, and many activities are planned in the Chicago area to draw attention to the important issue of bicycle safety.

Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys know that education and enforcement of driver safety laws are the best ways to reduce the number of bicycle accidents that occur each year in Illinois. National Bike Safety Month is an important part of the efforts to make riding bicycles safer for everyone.

National Bike Safety Month Activities

Many activities have been organized as part of National Bike Safety Month. For example, according to Chicago Now, the bike-related events that will occur throughout May include:

  • The Ride of Silence. This is a ride that takes place on the 15th of the month and that commemorates cyclists who have died while riding bicycles. The ride draws awareness to the accident risks that bike riders face when the bicyclists or drivers do not understand how to share the road safely. 
  • The “Rolling Together” Campaign.  The Rolling Together campaign is organized by People for Bikes. It involves urging everyone to make a promise to travel with compassion and to see fellow travelers as people who should be respected while driving. The premise is that both bicycle riders and drivers who promise to “roll together” will be more cautious and more careful about sharing the road with each other in a safe way.

These efforts during National Bike Safety Month, as well as additional safety campaigns and educational efforts, are designed to raise awareness of the bike safety problems that exist and to urge drivers to think differently about the obligations they owe to others on the road.

If every driver and bike rider complied with safety laws, yielded the right-of-way, drove at a reasonable speed, paid attention while driving, and looked out for bicycle riders and/or other cars, then a lot fewer accidents would occur.

Staying Safe in a Bicycle Accident

If you swerve to avoid an accident, it is possible that you may end up falling off of your bicycle. A fall can also happen as a result of a collision. If you start to fall off your bike, it is important that you do everything possible to avoid getting seriously hurt. Some tips to minimize the potential injury you may endure include the following:

  • Avoiding putting your arms out if you are falling forward. Putting your arms and hands up and out to break your fall can result in a broken wrist or broken collarbone.  If you are falling backward, on the other hand, then you should throw your hands back towards the ground in order to avoid hurting your head or getting whiplash. 
  • Lowering your hips towards the ground. By lowering your center of gravity, you reduce both the force and the inertia of the fall.
  • Holding on tightly to the bicycle handle bars. If you can keep hold of the bike when falling sideways, then the bar end of the bicycle may be able to absorb some of the force.

By keeping these tips in mind, hopefully you can help to avoid getting seriously hurt in an accident on a bicycle.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident in the Chicago, Illinois area, contact Coplan & Crane at 800-394-6002 or visit our Oak Park office.