Biking is a great way to get around the beautiful state of Michigan. Riding a bike is healthy, fun and inexpensive. Unfortunately, Michigan bicyclists are all too often the victims of speeding, distracted and impaired drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Michigan bicycle accident, you may be able to receive financial compensation for your considerable pain and suffering. A skilled bicycle accident attorney can help you fight for your rights and hold wrongdoers accountable.
Michigan Bicycle Accident Statistics
Bicycle accidents are relatively common in Michigan and they often result in devastating injuries such as bone fractures, spinal cord injuries and concussions. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), 1,981 bicyclists were involved in Michigan car accidents in the year 2012. Of those cyclists, 1,598 were injured and 20 were killed. Michigan bike riders within the age group of 25 to 34 sustained the most injuries (214), but those within the age group of 45 to 54 years were involved in the most number of fatal crashes (6), statistics show.
Wear Your Helmet
Currently under Michigan law, bicyclists are not required to wear a helmet. Anyone considering riding a bicycle on Michigan's roadways without a helmet, however, would be well served by reviewing recent statistics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that helmets are 85 to 88 percent effective in preventing and reducing the severity of head and brain injuries. Wearing a helmet is simply the best way to prevent traumatic brain injuries.
Of the 20 bicyclists killed in Michigan car accidents in the year 2012, three victims were wearing a helmet, 13 were not wearing a helmet and it is unknown if the remaining four victims were properly protected. Furthermore, only 197 bicyclists were injured while wearing a helmet compared to 817 riders who were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Choosing a Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) approved helmet may cost you up to $200, but it could save your life.
Bicycle Safety Tips
In addition to wearing a helmet, there are a number of steps that you can take to protect yourself while riding.
- Perform a quick inspection. Make sure your bicycle tires are properly inflated, your brakes are in working order and your seat is at a comfortable height.
- Wear bright clothing. It is especially useful at night to wear bright and reflective clothing to increase your visibility. See and be seen.
- Check your lights and reflectors. Under Michigan law, all bicyclists must have a white light lamp on the front of their bike and a red reflector on the rear.
- Make your intentions known. Make eye contact with motorists at intersections and use hand signals when changing lanes and turning.
- Ride with traffic. Stay as far to the right side of the road as possible. Remember, however, that suddenly opened car doors can be just as dangerous as moving vehicles.
- Obey traffic laws. All bicycle riders must follow the same traffic laws as other motorists. Make sure you obey all traffic signals and stop signs.
Your Legal Rights After A Michigan Bike Accident
If you have been injured in a Michigan bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other related damages. Unfortunately, many injured victims receive inadequate settlements while others have their claims denied completely. The experienced Michigan bike accident lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. will help protect your rights and ensure that you are offered fair and full compensation for your pain and suffering. Call us now at 1-800-606-1717 for a free and comprehensive consultation. We offer a No Win, No Fee Promise, which means no legal fees or costs until we win or settle your case. Call today and learn your rights!