What do a long-time orchestra teacher in Paramus schools and a 13-year member of the Paterson Fire Department have in common? They were both killed in separate New Jersey non-traffic related bicycle accidents this past June.
Bicycle accidents are all too common in New Jersey. In fact, our state ranks 23rd in the average number of bicycling deaths based on population - but 11 of the states that have higher numbers of deaths enjoy climates where biking is possible year-round.
The teacher's death occurred in Hawthorne when she lost control of the bicycle while traveling downhill and pitched over the handlebars. She was an experienced rider and a longtime member of the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey.
The firefighter was biking in a wooded reservation near the Cedar Grove Reservoir when he fell down a 20-foot cliff. He was a novice rider and allegedly was riding on a hiking trail where bicycling is prohibited when the accident occurred.
Prepare for Your Ride To Reduce the Risk of a Bicycle Accident
These tragic deaths demonstrate the real dangers of bicycling, even for experienced cyclists. Whether in traffic or on off-road trails, prepare for your ride with these safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet to protect your head, even if you are just taking a spin around the block.
- Make sure your bicycle is ready to ride. Check brakes and wheels and assess the position of your saddle so it is comfortable.
- Stay visible to other traffic. Use lights and wear reflective clothing when biking at night or in low light conditions.
- Use hand signals to let motorists know your intentions when turning or stopping. Try to make eye contact with oncoming drivers so they see you.
- Travel with traffic and remember to obey all traffic laws including lights and signs.
- Be aware of traffic around and behind you. Bike defensively.
- Avoid distractions like music and cellphone use while riding.
Importantly, obey any trail restrictions when mountain biking. If bicycles are prohibited, there is probably a good reason including dangerous conditions.
- Safety tips from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
- New Jersey mountain biking trails.
- Bicycle equipment safety checklist from USAToday.com.
We Can Help If You Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a bicycle or vehicle accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get you the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex County, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.