There are dozens of reasons to ride a bike to work in New Mexico. It is good exercise and good for the environment, and you do not have to pay for gas or insurance for your bike. However, it is also dangerous. Whether you ride as your mode of transportation, for pleasure or for your health, you are aware of the risks. In fact, perhaps you experience close calls with larger vehicles every time you are out on your bike.
You may be aware of the basic rules of safety when on your bike. You wear your helmet and other protective equipment, you maintain your bike, and you obey the traffic laws, such as riding with the flow of traffic. However, there are other steps you can take to improve the chances of arriving safely at your destination.
Making your bike ride as safe as possible
Because you are so exposed and defenseless to injury when riding a bike, you have to be especially alert and aware of what is going on around you. It is not enough to focus on your route because you must assume other drivers do not see you or do not appreciate your vulnerability. Based on data and research that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration examines, the following facts may help you remain safe on your bike:
- Most fatal bicycle accidents happen during the hours between 6 and 9 p.m.
- You are 75% more likely to be in an accident when you bike in the city than when riding in a rural area.
- Males are more likely to suffer fatal injuries in bicycle accidents than females.
- Wearing bright clothing and reflective gear, whether day or night, allows other drivers to see you better.
- Certain precautions can help you maintain control of your bike, such as keeping your shoelaces tucked in, carrying your belongings in a backpack and riding a bike that is appropriate for your size.
- Consuming alcohol increases your chances of having an accident
Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself in a hospital receiving treatment for injuries suffered in an accident with a larger vehicle. This may include life-altering injuries such as brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding or serious fractures. In addition to a long and perhaps painful recovery, you will likely deal with growing medical expenses, including surgeries, medication and physical therapy. If your accident resulted from the negligence of another driver, you have the right to seek the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.