Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Oklahoma? Call Us Now For a Free Consultation.
In many cases, a bicycle accident results from a motorist’s negligence or inattentiveness while operating a vehicle. Many injured bicyclists do not get fair treatment from insurance companies. Recent studies show that settlements for injuries suffered in cars are up to 40% higher than for the same type of injuries suffered by cyclists.
Whether it’s for a leisurely ride, to get to work, or a form of exercise, thousands of Oklahomans cruise around on bicycles all the time. Bicycles can be one of the most enjoyable modes of transportation, but they can be dangerous as well, particularly in congested areas. Cycling has become more popular in recent years, with the national “Go Green” and “Get Fit” initiatives. As such, there has been an increase in bicycle accidents resulting in serious injury and death in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Bicycle Laws
Follow these safety tips to reduce the chance of an accident.
Whether you ride your bike to commute to work or school, get some daily exercise, or simply enjoy the spring weather you are faced with a much higher risk of being seriously injured in traffic accidents.
Always Wear a Properly Fitted Helmet
Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. When selecting a helmet, make sure you choose one that is comfortable and fits securely. A helmet that fits properly is very important; it should fit low on your child’s forehead, just two fingers above the eyebrow. Your child should be able to look up and see the helmet; otherwise, it’s too far back. Your child should dress to be visible to motorists at all times of the day. Just like pedestrians, bicyclists are most easily seen when they wear bright-colored clothing. One of the smartest things your child can do to stay safe on a bicycle is to wear a helmet. If your child falls or crashes, a helmet is the best protection against head and brain injury
Use the Right Gear
Your child should only use a bicycle that is the right size, not one that is too big or too small.
Make sure your equipment works properly
Check your tires and brakes before you begin your ride. Your children should always make sure their bicycles are ready to go. Before every ride, they should check the:
- Tire Air Pressure – Always make sure there is proper air in the tires
- Brake Test – Make sure the brakes work properly and are tight
- Chain Maintenance – Make sure the chain is tight and working properly
Make sure you are visible at all times
Wear reflective clothing, use a bike or helmet light when dark.
Obey all traffic laws
A bicycle is considered a vehicle and must abide by the same rules.
Go with the flow of traffic
Always ride on the right in the same direction as traffic.
Check twice before turning & always signal.
Follow the Rules of the Road
To minimize your risk of being hurt in a traffic accident involving a motor vehicle, pay attention to all posted signs and ride in the same direction as traffic. Do not ignore stop signs or red lights, as this can increase your risk of being struck by a car.
Be Clearly Visible
Make sure that your bicycle is equipped with front and back reflectors, bike lights, or reflective tape. If you are riding at night, avoid dark clothing and instead wear bright, reflective colors. Far too many bike accidents occur because drivers simply did not see a cyclist until it was too late.
Children should work on important skills such as starting and stopping, riding in a straight line, looking over their shoulders, and signaling to vehicles. The better children are at riding, the less likely they are to crash. Before your child begins riding to school, take time to practice riding skills in a safe place with no traffic, like an empty parking lot.
Riding at night can be dangerous
If your child has to ride at night, you or a responsible adult should ride along. Put a white light on the front of the bicycle and a red reflector on the back. This will make it much easier for drivers to see your child’s bicycle at night.
Be Street Smart
Remind your child that a bicycle is a vehicle, not a toy. Your child should ride with both hands on the handlebars at all times, and with only one rider per seat. Kids need to use their eyes and ears to stay alert, so they should never use headphones or cell phones while riding. Your child should ride on a sidewalk when one is available, or ride in the same direction of traffic if there is no sidewalk.
Ride with young children who aren’t familiar with the rules of the road and remind them to be careful around driveways and parked cars. Just like with walking, the safest place for young bicyclists to cross the street is a corner or intersection. Your child should get off the bicycle, look left right left, and walk the bicycle across the street when no traffic is coming.