Kansas has the terrain, weather and scenery to make cycling a great way to get exercise, explore the environment or get to work each day. Even though it’s generally a safe and healthy activity, there are always risks whether you are on or off the road. Most of the most serious personal injury concerns are related to cars and roadways though, so this is the area to focus on the most.
Urban Traffic Patterns
National accident data indicates that up to 3 out of every 4 deadly bicycle crashes happen in urban environments. The higher population density in these areas means there’s far more traffic in a much smaller space, which means drivers are more likely to be frustrated, distracted or confused.
Cyclists should take care to follow all traffic patterns and only cross roads when they have the right of way and cars are clearly yielding.
Common causes of urban bike accidents:
- Failure to yield
- Sudden lane changes
- Insufficient following distance
- Running a stop sign or light
Dangers of the Highway
Even if there is room on the side of the road for bikers, that doesn’t mean it’s a safe idea to be there. Large state routes and interstate highways are dangerous places for bicycles considering the high speed of the cars and low visibility of a bicycle. When possible, riders should plan routes that keep them on roads with less volume and a lower speed limit.
In general, bicyclists should stay as far from cars as possible. Bikes offer virtually no protection, so even a low-speed crash can cause serious damage to the human body.
Common reasons for automobile on bicycle collisions include:
- Distraction from food or phones
- Failure to check bike lanes or crossing
- Blind spots and poor visibility
No matter the reason, bike accidents on the road are serious. When in doubt, riders should seek emergency medical intervention to check for concussions, fractures or other sub-dermal injuries. Don’t forget to get personal and insurance information from everyone involved in the crash.