As Bike Sales Surge to Record Levels, Rider Safety Remains Paramount

Posted by David P. McCormack

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If you think you have been noticing more cyclists than usual on the roads since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’d be right. In March and April of this year, sales of bicycles skyrocketed 75% across the country as people turned to cycling as a social distancing-friendly activity. Bicycles were as hard to find as hand sanitizer and toilet paper in the early stages of the pandemic and are still largely sold out across the country. Cycling has provided people with a way to get out of the house during quarantine, an alternative to closed gyms, and a safer way to travel rather than using public transportation. However, bicyclists face a steep danger when cycling on major roadways, especially as the U.S. reopens and more people head back to their usual routines. In 2018, there were 857 cyclist deaths in the U.S., a 6% increase from the year before. In urban areas, cyclist fatalities have increased by 48% since 2009. 

With such an increase in bicycles on the road this year, it is essential to educate ourselves on cyclist safety and preventive measures that can be taken to protect cyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published a guide to cyclist safety, with the most significant recommendation being to put on a well-fitted helmet before riding. The NHTSA also recommended to: 

  • Ride a bike that fits you and that you can control;
  • Wear protective equipment that also makes you visible to others;
  • Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain; and
  • Choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. 

The NHTSA further highlighted the importance of riding defensively, with the assumption that another operator cannot see you, and riding predictably, in a manner that allows other cars to predict where you might ride and avoid a crash. For more tips of cyclist safety, see 10 Bike Safety Tips – Consumer Reports

SUGARMAN's attorneys have extensive experience litigating motor vehicle accidents involving cyclists who have been injured. If you have been injured and you need the guidance of a lawyer, call us at (617) 542-1000, email info@sugarman.com or fill out a Contact Form