Five Common Questions that Come Up after a Bicycle Accident

Bicycle accidents rarely leave their victims the same person that they were before the crash. The physical, mental, and emotional effects of the crash can last for a very long time. Here are some of the more common concerns and questions we hear from our clients who were injured in a bicycle accident.

bike path

Should I Continue Riding the Same Route?

There is no correct answer. Instead, you should carefully consider whether the route contributed to your crash. For example, if you rode on a very busy road with lots of traffic, then it might make sense to change your route to one that is less busy—provided that you can still reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time.
Alternately, you might continue riding the same route but become more vigilant. It is very easy for experienced cyclists to become too comfortable on their bicycles, which might have contributed to your accident. The next time you go out, imagine that you are riding the route for the very first time. Pay close attention to sounds and any vehicle near you.
You should also consider whether you can ride the route at a different time of day. Some routes are very busy during one hour but less congested at a different time of day. This might not be an option if you ride your bicycle as a form of transportation to school or work. But it could be an option if you ride mostly for pleasure. Visit your route and check whether it might be safer to ride at a different hour.

How Do I Keep the Accident from Ruining my Love of Cycling?

First, we have to confront the fact that your injuries might make it difficult to get back on a bicycle for quite some time—if not indefinitely. Because bicyclists are so unprotected, any collision with a moving vehicle or even a stationary object can cause devastating injuries—spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones. It might be difficult if not impossible for you to ride a bicycle until you fully recover from them.
However, provided your physical injuries do not interfere with riding a bicycle, then you are dealing primarily with a mental or emotional block. Many of our clients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after a devastating crash. Getting back onto a bicycle could trigger severe anxiety and fear. Even if you are not suffering from PTSD, you simply might not enjoy cycling as much.

There are several ways you can overcome your fears. For example, you can start riding your bicycle on the open road, where you won’t have to stop as much. By finding a road that is not busy, you can give yourself hours of time with little risk of collision. You might have to go far outside Las Vegas to find sufficient space, but it is worth a start.
Other people benefit from working towards some goals. For example, you might set a number of miles you want to bike each month. By working toward a goal, you can overcome your fear of getting back on the bicycle.
Lastly, you should look for a bicycling group. Socializing with other enthusiasts could rekindle your love of cycling and make you feel safer at the same time. Ask other cyclists if they know of groups or check online. You can also start a group by creating a Facebook page.

Does Bicycle Safety Change as We Age?

As our bodies change, bicycling safety also should change. Senior citizens lose balance and often suffer from impaired vision and hearing. As a result, many enthusiasts find that they cannot ride the same way in their senior years as they did when they were younger. For staying safe on your bike in the future, consider the following tips:
Choose a recumbent bike. These bicycles allow you to lean back while riding, which can provide greater balance as well as back support, which are critical as we age. If you still want to ride upright, you can get a seat that is wider and better padded than your current seat.

  • Hop on a three-wheeled bike if you are losing balance but do not want to ride a recumbent bicycle.
  • Ride more during the day when the weather is good. Doing so will make you more visible to drivers. As we age, our reflexes slow and vision changes, making it harder to avoid crashes in inclement weather or at night.
  • Choose a separated bicycle path, if one is available.
  • Have your vision checked frequently. You want your vision as sharp as possible.

By following common-sense safety tips, many people can extend their love of bicycling well into their senior years.

I’m Afraid to Introduce My Children to My Love of Bicycling. What Should I Do?

bicycles lined up
After a crash, it is perfectly natural to be wary of having your loved one bicycle, especially in the same area where you suffered a crash. Nevertheless, learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for most children, and it would be unfortunate to deny your child the pleasure of riding simply out of fear. Chances are you see car accidents every month on the road, but you will happily let your child get a license. The same principle should apply to bicycling.

  • Of course, now is a great time to teach your child the basics of bicycling safety:
  • Wear a helmet. It’s the law in Las Vegas.
  • Stop and look around before entering a roadway.
  • Ride with traffic.
  • Obey traffic signs and make proper hand signals ahead of time.
  • Always keep at least one hand on the handlebar.
  • Never do something just because a friend is doing it.

Practice the basics of riding in a park or in your driveway so that they can learn how to ride in a safe environment. And always model your own safety when out on the road with your children.

How Can I Advocate for Greater Recognition of Biker Safety Issues?

Unfortunately, our government and fellow citizens do not take bicycle safety seriously. After a crash, you might become an advocate for small changes. For example, you might want Las Vegas to introduce bicycle pathways. Or you simply might want to increase driver’s recognition that they must share the road with bicyclists. Fortunately, there are many things you can do:

  • Get involved in local politics. Speak to candidates about their stance on bicycle safety issues. Chances are they have no opinion on the topic, so now is the time to inform them of the need for bicycle lanes and pathways.
  • Write to your newspaper or favorite blog to increase awareness that motorists need to share the road.
  • Join a bicycle advocacy group or start your own. For example, the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition speaks to members of the media about bicycle safety and analyzes road projects to see how they impact the safety of members. Join them today or start your own chapter where you live.

By being proactive, you can relieve some of the stress you feel after being victimized in a crash. Some people suddenly rediscover their love of cycling when they become more involved in advocacy for bicyclists.

Speak with a Las Vegas Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash, you are not alone. At Ladah Law, we have helped countless victims receive the compensation they need. We are happy to meet with you and offer a free consultation so you can learn more about the services we offer. After consulting with a Vegas bike lawyer, you might decide to bring a lawsuit or seek a settlement from the person at fault for the accident. To schedule your consultation, please submit an online message or call 702-252-0055.