Dear Reader,

Was a new bike under the tree for your kid or grandkid this year?

As a personal injury attorney, I’ve witnessed firsthand how dangerous it can be for bicyclists on city streets and mountain paths. Even with proper safety gear and adherence to all the rules of the roads, cyclists are vulnerable and at risk of serious injury and death when they share the road with vehicles or take off riding through the woods.

As we break in this new year, kiddos with bright, shiny new bikes and newly committed exercise enthusiasts who recently aired up their ten speeds would do good to remember some potential life-saving safety tips.

Remember, when riding on city streets or cruising down wooded trails…

  • Helmets save lives.
  • Elbow, knee, and wrist guards can help prevent nasty injuries.
  • Reflective clothing makes you more visible to others, even on a bright sunny day.
  • It’s important to inspect your bike and ensure your tires are aired regularly, the brakes work, and all components are in good working condition.
  • When riding bike trails, ride with a buddy if possible; if you have a blowout or encounter trouble, you’ll be glad you did.
  • If you’re on a city road, be sure to follow the rules of the road. Just like drivers, cyclists need to follow the rules of the road to stay safe. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights, using hand signals when turning, and riding with traffic (not against it).
  • Stay visible. Make sure you have lights and reflectors on your bicycle, especially if you’re riding at night. This will help drivers see you and avoid any dangerous missteps.

For the rest of us drivers who share the road, please be aware.  A little extra caution around a bicyclist could save a life.

  • Give bicyclists plenty of space. When passing a bicyclist, leave at least three feet of space between your vehicle and the cyclist. If a cyclist loses control or swerves unexpectedly, this extra space could mean the difference between life and death.
  • Be patient. Bicyclists can’t move as quickly as cars, especially if going uphill or facing a headwind. Remember to stay patient and give them time to get where they need to go.
  • Check your blind spots. Bicycles can be harder to spot than cars, especially if they’re riding in your blind spot. Always double-check your mirrors and look over your shoulder before changing lanes or turning.

Even with these precautions, collisions on the road can still happen.  If you’ve been injured by a motorist while riding a bicycle, please call my office immediately at 703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515. We can assist you with getting the medical care you need.

With over forty-four years of experience handling personal injury claims, we are ready to help you in every way possible.

Until next time,

Please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

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