MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. According to the City of Minneapolis, the city was ranked the #3 biking city in the nation by Bicycling Magazine. Biking is not only a great way to stay in shape, but it is also an excellent way to commute, while also protecting the environment. Minneapolis has 129 miles of bikeways on streets and another 97 miles of off-street bike paths, making it a highly rideable city.
Yet, every year, bikers are either killed or injured due to the negligent actions or drivers, or due to their own failure to wear a helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, 800 bicyclists were killed and another 515,000 suffered bike-related injuries that required them to visit an emergency room for care. Many injuries could have easily been prevented had bike riders worn helmets. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only half of bikers wear helmets. Even more alarming, among children between 5 and 14 years of age, only 48% wore helmets.
Simply wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of injury, but riders and drivers also need to know how to properly share the road. Do your children know basic road rules? While many adults understand traffic law and follow these laws while riding their bikes, children may not always be versed in traffic law. In general, children should not be biking on roadways unless they understand traffic laws and can abide by them. In Minneapolis, bike riders on roadways are required to follow all safety laws that apply to cars. Younger children, who don’t understand road safety rules should not be biking on roadways at all.
Parents can also keep children safe by ensuring that they have a properly fitting bike helmet and bike. Tires should be properly inflated and brakes should be in working order. Children should wear bright colors and, if riding at night, their bikes should be equipped with proper safety lights. Children should also be taught to identify road and bike path hazards, including bumps, broken glass, and debris, which can cause a fall. In general, children under 10 years of age should avoid riding their bikes at night and not ride on roadways where there is car traffic.
Drivers can also take important steps to ensure the safety of bicyclists. They can share the road with bikers, and give bikers space when passing. Drivers should also not text and drive or speak on their cell phones while driving in the city as this can cause a deadly distraction. Drunk driving can also impair judgement, which can result in bike accidents.
Unfortunately, when drivers make mistakes, the people who most often suffer are bike riders who don’t have the protective chassis of a car. If you or a loved one was injured in a bike accident due to the negligence or neglect of another driver, you may have important rights under the law. The Law Offices of Martin T. Montilino are personal injury lawyers in Minneapolis, Minnesota who work closely with victims to help them seek justice for their injuries. Visit our firm at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more about your options.