A 23-year-old rider was hit and killed in Maine recently. It wasn’t just any ordinary ride either. It was a part of the American Lung Association’s Trek Across Maine — a 180-mile bike tour, according to the Boston Globe.According to Maine State Police, the rider was biking down Route 2 just before 9:00 a.m. when a passing tractor-trailer struck him. According to accident reports, the truck didn’t even stop after the collision.
Our Portland bicycle accident lawyers understand that this trek across Maine is very important to a lot of people. The “trekkers” are required to raise $500 in order to ride, and that’s money raised for a good cause. And bicycle safety is also important to many others.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of work to do in helping to keep these riders safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 1,000 bicyclists killed on America’s roadways in 2011. These fatalities accounted for about 2 percent of all traffic fatalities for the year. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s more serious that you might think.
In addition to all of the bicyclists killed, there were another 50,000 who were injured. And many of these accidents could have been prevented with a little more awareness.
The truth of the matter is that bicycling is not only a popular form of transportation for residents and visitors throughout the area, but it is also a recreational and fitness activity enjoyed by those of all ages — with close to 90 million adults and children riding their bikes every year. Bicycling enhances your physical health, mental outlook and overall quality of life.
Luckily, officials with the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) are here with some important bicycling safety tips to help to make sure that everyone gets to where they’ve got to be safely.
Simple Safety Tips:
-Whenever you go out riding, make sure you’re wearing a helmet. A helmet is your best bet against injury and death in the event of an accident.
-Always obey the laws of the road. You have to follow these laws, too.
-Ride with traffic (in the same direction as it). Use a bike path whenever there is one available.
-Keep an eye on your bicycle with routine checks and inspections. Maintenance is a good way to avoid a potentially dangerous bicycling mishap.
-Stay visible. Wear bright and reflective clothing to help ensure that motorists see you.
-Keep an eye out for road hazards. You can avoid dangers and risks by staying aware of your surroundings at all times.
-Never overload your bicycle. When carrying items with you, use a backpack, a secure rack on the back of your bike or safe bike bags.
-Be sure to signal all stop and turns.
-Be ready to ride in all conditions.