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Biking offers many benefits to Houston residents. It’s an affordable, environmentally friendly way to travel. It’s good exercise and a great way to see the city. Unfortunately, Houston can be a dangerous city for cyclists.
The cycling community in Houston knows all too well that cyclists aren’t always given the space or respect they deserve. In July 2017, for example, a cyclist was struck by a pickup truck at Heights Boulevard and Interstate 10 (I-10). According to the Houston Chronicle, the cyclist was in the bike lane and, even though police investigated the incident and found the driver to be at fault, no ticket was issued.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we believe that cyclists deserve to have their voices heard. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Houston, our attorneys can help you hold a negligent driver accountable for their actions.
Cycling in Houston
Bicycles are increasingly popular in Houston. Cycling safety advocates have been voicing the need for improved infrastructure, more bike lanes, and stronger enforcement of current driving laws that require drivers to provide three feet (3’) between their vehicle and a bicyclist. Commercial vehicles must give cyclists six feet (6’) of space. Despite these safety laws and ongoing discussions of a Houston Bike Plan, cyclists face many obstacles in our city.
BikeHouston has been pushing for improved infrastructure in the city for several years. So has Houston BCycle, a nonprofit bike share program that has seen an increase in ridership recently. Critical Mass Houston is an organized casual bike ride that offer cyclists in the city opportunities to socialize and bike with other bicyclists. There are hundreds of miles of bike lanes in Houston and no shortage of activities for those who love cycling.
Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
Bicyclists have a greater chance of being injured on the road than do occupants of motor vehicles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year, around 1,000 cyclists are killed and nearly half a million cyclists suffer injuries in the United States. In 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 65 cyclists were killed in Texas.
The CDC also points out that while cyclists ages 5 to 19 are more likely to suffer nonfatal cycling-related injuries, people ages 50 to 59 have the highest rate of bicycle fatalities. Cycling fatalities are also more likely in urban areas. Urban areas can increase safety by mandating helmet laws, expanding bike lanes, and strengthening laws that require drivers to safely share the road with cyclists.
Like all types of crashes, bicycle accidents are almost always caused by human error. When drivers are distracted, drowsy, impaired, or reckless, they pose a threat to all cyclists. Drivers should always take special care when driving near pedestrians and cyclists.
Tips for Cycling Safety in Houston
- Always wear a helmet and proper safety attire.
- Follow traffic laws that apply to drivers – drive on the right-hand side of the road, signal before turning, and follow all traffic lights and signs.
- If cycling at night, use lights and wear bright clothes.
- Regularly inspect your bike to make sure it is safe and functioning properly.
- Be mindful when traveling around parked cars; leave plenty of room in case someone opens the door of a parked vehicle.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Cyclists suffer serious injuries when struck by another vehicle. These injuries often lead to permanent disabilities. Some of the most debilitating cycling-related injuries include:
Bicycle Accidents and Personal Injury Claims
When a crash is caused by a negligent driver, an injured cyclist can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for the costs associated with their injuries. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident and need legal representation, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to learn more about your options.
Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury attorney and former judge in Texas. He and his hand-picked team have the experience, resources, and skill to get clients the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free bicycle accident consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 1 (800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.