Each year in the United States about 2 percent of motor vehicle accident fatalities involve bicyclists. In the majority of these accidents, the most serious injuries are to the head. This statistic illustrates how crucial it is to wear a protective helmet when cycling. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 85 percent.
Common Vehicle vs Bicycle Accidents
Collisions between bikes and vehicles are common. Almost 10 percent of vehicle vs. bicycle collisions occur at intersections at which the cyclist has a stop sign and the motorist does not. The cyclist typically stops at the intersection and then peddles into the intersection in front of a vehicle that has the right of way. In this case, the cyclist is at fault.
The second most common motor vehicle related bike accident also occurs at an intersection. The cyclist approaches the intersection from a road that does not have a stop sign and the vehicle approaches from a road that does have a stop sign. After stopping at the intersection, the vehicle then drives out ahead of the cyclist, who has the right of way. In this case, the vehicle driver is at fault.
The best way to avoid a bike accident is to be fully aware of your surroundings. Make sure you understand the rules of the road for cyclists. Always maximize your visibility. As you approach an intersection remember that vehicles are likely not going to stop, even if vehicles are required to. This will help prevent you from being involved in an intersection collision. Just because a vehicle is required to stop does not mean the vehicle will.
Wearing a Bike Helmet in Missouri
The State of Missouri has no general law requiring the use of bike helmets, but many municipalities throughout Missouri require them. Bicycle helmets are mandatory throughout St. Louis, though the age restrictions vary from county to county. For example, in St. John, MO helmets are only required for cyclists under the age of 17. In Grantwood Village, MO helmets are required for all ages. Helmets are required in St. Charles, MO and Columbia, MO.
Tips for Choosing a Bicycle Helmet
• Make sure the helmet fits properly.
• Adjust the fit using the foam sizing pads.
• Ensure the straps fit snuggly.
• Avoid using harsh cleaners that may weaken the helmet’s construction.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.
If you or a family member have been injured in a bicycle accident in Missouri or Illinois due to a negligent driver, it’s important to talk with an experienced bike accident lawyer as soon as possible. Preserving evidence at the scene is often crucial to a just recovery. Call Page Law today for a free consultation with one of our experienced bike accident lawyers. We will evaluate your case and advise you how to proceed. You can reach us anytime at 1-800-CAR-CRASH (800) 227-2727 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.