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Safety & Cycling In Maryland

With the world’s growing concern over polar ice caps, the ozone layer, and air pollution, it is no wonder that many folks are adapting their lifestyles to build a cleaner environment. Companies and individuals alike are doing their part to help create a better tomorrow and a greener world. Green initiatives range from making recycling a way of life, to using energy saving appliances, to simply reusing grocery bags. Even the smallest of efforts goes a long way when it comes to environmental consciousness, however, some lifestyle changes have proven more dangerous than expected. Many adults have parked their cars in exchange for pedals and bicycle helmets. Unfortunately, city planning has not kept up with the number of new bicyclists on the road, leading to many injured cyclists.

The Problem With Pedaling

As the Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported, over the past fifteen years there has been a dramatic increase in bicycle-related injuries. In fact, between 1998 and 2013 hospital admissions resulting from bicycle accidents nearly doubled. The group most at risk of bicycle injuries are those over the age of forty five. While child fatalities resulting from bicycling has dramatically decreased, deaths among those aged 35-54 has tripled within the past forty years.

The Source

The studies have identified several reasons why these injuries and fatalities are happening at such a higher rate than in the past. For one, more Americans are becoming more health-conscious and are adjusting their lifestyles accordingly. Another reason many are hopping on bikes is to adjust to growing concerns over air pollution. Without a doubt, the biggest increase in bicyclists are among those who are over 45 years old. Because a middle-aged adult will suffer a more severe injury than a young adult, even when the impact is the same, an increased number of older riders leads to an increased number of injured riders. As most travel routes (highways, roads, side streets) are designed for travel by car or truck, it is no surprise that bicyclists often face dangers in traffic. The lack of safety features offered from an enclosed vehicle also prevents a serious risk of injury.

Safety Tips for Cyclists

Bicycling is a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another. However, the roads can be a dangerous place for bicyclists, and accidents can have significant consequences. Often, the worst accidents involve a collision between an automobile driver and a bicycle. For example, University of Maryland wide receiver Tyrek Cheeseboro recently collided with a bus and suffered from a concussion. However, accidents with vehicles can often result in even more severe injuries.

Here are some important bicycling safety tips:

  • Wear a helmet. It is important that the bicycle helmet fits properly. A helmet that is loose-fitting or tilted back does not offer as much protection in the event of a fall.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it. Just like cars, bicycles are required to obey all the rules of the road such as stopping at red lights and stop signs.
  • If you are riding in a group, ride single file or no more than two abreast. Riding in a wide line increases the chances of an automobile collision and could cause a chain reaction.
  • Don’t ride on the sidewalk. Except in places where local ordinance allows biking on the sidewalk, Maryland law requires bicyclists to bike on the road.
  • Avoid busy streets. Some of the most dangerous bicycle accidents are those where bicycles collide with vehicles. If you don’t need to travel on a busy street, it may be safer to take a back road.
  • Stay alert and practice defensive cycling. A vehicle may not see you or may not be paying attention, but if you react defensively you may be able to avoid an accident.
    Safe bicycling is important for two reasons. First and most importantly, a safe bicyclist is less likely to suffer from an accident than an unsafe bicyclist. Secondly, if an accident does occur, a safe bicyclist may be able to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit more easily than a bicyclist who was not following the law.

In Maryland, violation of a law (such as a bicyclist not following traffic rules or riding on the sidewalk) can be evidence of negligence. Because Maryland has a state law of contributory negligence, recovery can be difficult for the victim of a bicycling accident who may have been negligent. Contributory negligence means that a plaintiff, such as a bicyclist who has been involved in an accident, cannot recover damages from a defendant if the plaintiff is even one percent at fault for the accident. Many other states have a comparative negligence doctrine, which instead allows negligent plaintiffs to recover some damages if the defendant is also negligent.
As a practical matter, this means that bicyclists should be as careful as possible in order to avoid accidents at all costs and, if an accident with a vehicle does occur, to maximize the possibility that they can recover personal injury damages from the driver.

Injuries disrupt our daily lives and often result in stressful recoveries. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury while bicycling, you may be entitled to compensation. We are here to help. Contact our team today to discuss your injuries and get the help you need.

See Related Blog Posts

Closed Head Injuries and Accidental Brain Damage

The Long Road of Distraction

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs, and Other Dangerous Substances in Maryland

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Location: Tysons

Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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