Bicycle riding has always been a popular hobby in Portland and many people rely on it as a primary means of transportation. With ongoing concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, those who previously relied on carpooling, buses, trains, or other forms of transit are now using bicycles as a means to maintain social distancing during their commute. Unfortunately, bicyclists who are inexperienced at riding or with navigating Portland’s busy streets are at a greater risk for bicycle accidents and injuries. If you are new to bicycling, take time to familiarize yourself with potential dangers and the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
Pandemic Spurs Increase of Bicyclists in Portland
Multnomah County continues to grapple with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, with new cases being reported every day. While Portland has begun the process of reopening and many people are now back at work, it is still important to take precautions to keep potential surges at bay. For commuters who are concerned about maintaining social distancing on busses or trains, bicycles can provide a safer alternative.
Alongside general increases in the number of traditional bicyclists on the road, a July 4, 2020 Clean Technica report states that sales of electric bikes have exploded at stores throughout the Portland area. Customers claim they are motivated by concern over how easily the coronavirus spreads, particularly in crowded public areas. They also claim that with general decreases in traffic congestion on local roads due to pandemic related restrictions, riding a bike on city streets is now likely to be safer than before.
Know Your Bicycle Accident Risks
Less traffic on city streets can make riding a bicycle easier. However, you still need to be aware of the risks and the many ways in which bicycle accidents can occur. In late June 2020, Oregon Live reported on a bicyclist who was killed near the Lloyd Center after he was struck by a motorist who ran a red light.
Intersections are one of the most common places for bike accidents to happen, as are sections of the city without designated bicycle lanes. Running red lights, speeding, being under the influence, and other dangerous driving behaviors are generally to blame. To reduce your bike accident risks, follow these tips:
- Make sure your bike is well-maintained;
- Wear a helmet and other safety equipment;
- Always ride in the direction of traffic, never against;
- Follow all traffic signs and signals;
- Use hand signals to let drivers know when switching lanes or making turns;
- Use lights on your bike and wear light, bright clothing to increase your visibility;
- Avoid distractions and pay attention to what is going on around you at all times.
Let Us Help You Today
Bicycle accidents can result in serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we are here to help you get the compensation you need to recover. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland bicycle accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.