As a bicyclist, you are one of the most vulnerable users on our roads, with very little except your helmet protecting you from serious injuries in an accident. Fortunately, bicycles are getting more technologically advanced, and now do a much better job of helping you prevent accidents, than they did before.
Many bicycle safety technologies are especially designed to help reduce the risk of an accident. For instance, a relatively new innovation is the ICEdot, an app that works in collaboration with your smartphone. The sensor detects a bicyclist’s impact and motion. If it detects impact, it immediately sends a signal to contact 911. The app also sends an alert to all the names on your emergency contact list. Basically, this device ensures that a bicyclist is never really riding alone. Even when he is in danger, friends on his emergency contact list as well as emergency rescue services are immediately alerted. The device will also send emergency contacts as well as rescue services your GPS coordinates, so that help can be sent as quickly as possible and with minimum hassle.
Another must have for bicyclists these days is a more sophisticated GPS product. A device called BikeSpike helps you keep track of bicyclists, sending alerts in the event of an accident. The device is very popular with bicyclists in 2014 who want to ride not just a reputed brand name bicycle, but also one that comes with tech that enhances their safety Other new products are based on relatively old technology, with a new form, like bicycle horns that sound very much like car horns.
Bicycles are also getting smarter, and are now equipped with features that actually reduce the risk of accidents. For instance, new bicycles now come with features that help make it easy to slow down the brakes, and also make steering on a bicycle easier.
Some of the nastiest injuries that a bicyclist may suffer involve road rash. These are lacerations, cuts, and wounds that are sustained when the bicyclist falls on the ground, and is dragged along the ground for several feet. When the skin comes into contact with the surface of the road, sensitive skin can be scraped away, leaving wounds that pose a serious threat of infection and other complications.
In order to prevent road rash, dress appropriately. Unfortunately, cycling shorts can increase the risk of suffering road rash when you are unlucky enough to fall off your bicycle. Persons who are wearing full sleeved-clothing are at a lower risk for road rash injuries. Prevent such injuries by wearing a long sleeved undershirt to protect your hands, elbows and forearms from road rash.
Take care of your injuries. Don’t simply apply an antiseptic ointment, and leave it at that. During a typical accident, when a person suffers lacerations or open wounds on the skin, dirt from the road and debris enter the wound. This is a serious infection hazard. Don’t ignore those hazards. Use a tweezer to remove pieces of debris, or dirt, or pieces of small stone and mud that have entered the wound. Wash the wound using sterile water. Use an antibiotic cream liberally on the affected area, and bandage the area. The area must heal naturally, and quickly. Consult a doctor and follow his advice. The key to preventing infections is to keep the area as clean as possible. Persons wearing full sleeved-clothing are at a lower risk for road rash injuries.
Don’t ignore road rash. These injuries may not heal without leaving some amount of scarring. If your road rash has involved your face, there may be facial scarring and disfigurement. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer, if you have suffered facial scarring as a result of a bicycle accident.
Bicyclists in California can recover damages when they have suffered injuries in an accident. However, what happens in those cases where the bicyclist is at least partly to blame for the accident?
There are several ways that a bicyclist may contribute partly to his own injuries in an accident. For instance, he may fail to obey traffic laws. If you cross traffic lanes, or otherwise ride unsafely, you could possibly be blamed for the accident when one occurs.
Say for instance, you were riding down the wrong way on a one-way street, and were struck by a speeding car. A judge may determine that you were partly to blame because you were driving in the wrong direction. However, just because you are partly to blame in the accident, does not mean that you are absolutely not eligible for compensation recovery. It does mean that the compensation that you were eligible for will now be reduced by the percentage of your fault in the accident.
Determining whether you are at fault in the accident will fall on the judge. You can expect the insurer for the motorist involved in your accident to claim that damages should be reduced significantly because you were very much to blame for causing your own injuries. However, a judge will determine how much you were to blame in the accident. If the judge believes that you were not at all to blame in the accident, and the fault was that of the motorist, then you will be awarded 100% of the damages. However, if the judge believes that you were 20% negligent, then your damages will be reduced by 20%, and you will only receive 80 percent of the damages you would have been eligible for.
In any case, you must speak to a California bicycle accident lawyer if you have been injured in an accident. Determining fault and assigning percentages is a complicated process which judges will consider only with inputs from lawyers.