This month is National Bicycle Safety Month — as well as National Bike Month. One campaign focuses upon accidents where people are hurt while riding bicycles, especially on the road in car accidents; the other campaign seeks to encourage people to ride bikes more often.
National Bike Safety Month
From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we know that 726 people were killed while riding bicycles in 201 and another 49,000 were hurt in traffic accidents where the bicyclist was hit by a car. Most of these accident victims aren’t kids: the average age of someone hurt while riding a bicycle, according to NHTSA data, is 43 years. It’s usually a man that gets hurt; and most of the bicycle accidents that result in someone dying happen in the late afternoon until midnight.
“Our agency is committed to increasing safe riding behaviors among bicyclists, and heightening awareness and personal responsibility among motorists and others about safely sharing the road with bicyclists,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “All cyclists should always wear their helmets, as it is the most effective way to prevent head injury in a crash.”
National Bike Month
The League of American Bicyclists has been promoting bicycle riding with May as National Bike Month since 1956. Every year, Americans of all ages are encouraged to get out and ride their bikes.
Next week, from May 11 – 15, 2015, is being heralded as National Bike to Work Week as part of the month long campaign. People in Indiana, Illinois, and elsewhere in the country will be encouraged to ride their bike to work next week — even if they’ve never done it before and even if they’re rusty at riding.
More than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.
6:30AM | Bike Trains depart from various starting locations across the region
7:00AM | Big Hub Plaza/Market St. opens to commuters
Temporary parking by Pedal & Park, complimentary breakfast by Whole Foods & coffee served by Hubbard & Cravens
All day bike parking (showers & lockers incl.) is available in the Indy Bike Hub YMCA
7:55AM | Presentations by Indianapolis Mayor Ballard & other VIP’s
8:20-8:25 Blessing of the Bikes (Rabbi Aaron Spiegel & Rev. Steve Carlsen)
11:00AM to Noon | Market St. open to outdoor dining
Noon | Free bike commuter lunch and learn at the Indy Bike Hub YMCA sponsored by CIBA
4:00PM to 6:30PM | Sun King sponsored Happy Hour Fundraiser for INDYCOG @ Tomlinson Tap Room with pizza
4:30PM to 6:30PM | Bike trains depart for home (Meet @ Tomlinson Tap Room)
7:00PM | All-day parking expires at the Indy Bike Hub YMCA
Chicago is not taking part in National Bike Week.
Chicago has set up its own bike-riding promotion as “Chicago Bike Week” scheduled for June 12-15, 2015. Bike to Work Day in Chicago will be on June 19, celebrated as a Bike to Work Rally at Daley Plaza (begins at 7 o’clock that morning).
Bicycle Accidents and Insurance Claims
Given that bicycle safety is a concern in this country, and that more and more people are being encouraged to ride bicycles in our part of the country, it’s to be expected that we will see an increase in people being injured in accidents where an injury victim was riding a bicycle at the time. These may be school age children; however, prior years’ research has shown that it’s adults that are hurt more often in serious bicycle accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle-related accident, then you may want to investigate the possible claims you have under state law for your injuries (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.). Drivers and others are quick to point the finger at the bike rider and place blame; however, these accidents are rarely that simple and often, the bicyclist is not at fault for what has occurred.