A recent rash of high-profile bicycle accidents has highlighted the dangers many bicyclists face on the roads throughout the country. Unfortunately, the NFL was recently rocked by the terrible news that NY Jets assistance coach, Greg Knapp, died from his injuries five days after being hit by a car while riding his bike near his home in Danville, California. By all accounts, coach Knapp was not only a great coach, but also a wonderful person.
Just recently in January 2021, former NBA star Shawn Bradley, who was a first-round draft pick for the Philadelphia 76ers, was hit by a car while he was riding his bicycle near his home in Utah. Bradley played for 14 years in the NBA and was one of the tallest players in history, checking in at 7'6”. Unfortunately, Bradley was left paralyzed after this bicycle accident. The accident caused a traumatic spinal cord injury and he was forced to undergo neck fusion surgery.
And in May 2021, former two-time NBA defensive player of the year (and another seven-footer), Mark Eaton, died after a bicycle accident near his home in Utah. Eaton stood 7'4” and held the record for highest average for blocks per game (5.6) in one NBA season. Eaton was taken to a hospital after a bike crash and ultimately died. The specifics of the accident are not clear, though authorities do not believe a vehicle was involved.
Each of these tragic incidents provide stark reminders of the many dangers facing bicyclists on the road. With that in mind, here are some helpful safety tips to stay safe while riding your bike:
- Of course, always wear a helmet. This point cannot be emphasized enough, as the statistics bear out. In fact, the statistics show that (1) Almost three-quarters of fatal crashes (74%) involved a head injury; (2) Nearly all bicyclists who died (97%) were NOT wearing a helmet; and (3) Helmet use among those bicyclists with serious injuries was low (13%), but it was even lower among bicyclists killed (3%).
- Wear any additional protective gear you can afford
- Always avoid driving a bicycle while distracted
- Keep both hands on the wheel –don't ride while holding and sipping your coffee or other drink.
- Try to avoid driving in bad weather
- Try to avoid riding a bicycle in high traffic areas
- Avoid riding at night
- Avoid road hazards
- Keep up with routine maintenance for your bicycle
- Do not ride at high speeds or out of control
- Wear reflective or bright colors so car drivers can see you
- Do not stay in a driver's blind spot.
Now, if you have been injured in a bicycle accident, here are some tips on what to do next:
- Seek medical attention immediately for any injuries
- Ask for and obtain a police report
- Seek out any witnesses and obtain their names and contact information
- Obtain the identification, drivers' license, and insurance information of any drivers involved
- Attempt to obtain any video or photographic evidence
- Take photos of the area where the accident occurred and of any damages sustained
- Take photos of any damage to your bicycle
- Keep a record of doctor's appointments and medical expenses
- Keep a journal of your injuries, how you feel each day, and any prescriptions and medications you are taking
- Speak to an attorney who has experience fighting for injured bicyclists' rights
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