Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler May 5, 2016

“It’s as easy as riding a bike,” we often hear. But bicycle riding isn’t easy when collisions occur and bicycle riders are injured or killed. In recent years, more than 600 bicycle deaths and over 50,000 bicycle injuries — many of them severe and debilitating — have happened annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In fact, since 1932, over 44,000 bicyclists have been killed in American traffic accidents. That  constitutes around 2 per cent of all traffic fatalities.

These sobering bicycle accident statistics mean it’s vital for bike riders to learn ways of avoiding bicycle fatalities and injuries.

Laws May Not Save You

Bicycles are a healthy way to get around, but only when riders avoid bicycle accidents. The most common bicycle accidents are falls, and the most serious bicycle accidents are collisions.

Though traffic laws may be on bicyclists’ side, as in any type of crash, being on the right side of the law may not always save you. It’s best to ride defensively and avoid getting hit, not just rely on protections which the law should provide.

You can be right, but dead right. More important is avoiding bicycle fatalities and injuries in the first place.

Generally, a bicyclist must follow the rules of the road that also apply to cars and other larger vehicles. But bicyclists also tend to have the same legal rights as pedestrians walking in crosswalks, on sidewalks or in a bicycle lane. That is to say, vehicles must yield to bicycles.

Since not all vehicles will do so, bicyclists should keep bicycle safety tips in mind to avoid having a collision, regardless of who would be to blame.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Among bicycle safety tips are these:

  • Always wear a protective helmet, and perhaps also protective pads for knees and elbows. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wearing a helmet is believed to reduce the danger of suffering a head injury by 85 per cent.
  • If possible, avoid riding on busy or congested roads. Again, just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you won’t get hit by motorists, who often fail to see bike riders, just as they fail to see motorcyclists.
  • Avoid riding a bicycle at excessive speeds. Riding too fast can make it harder for you to stop and harder for other vehicles to avoid you.
  • Get a front-mounted headlight — often required by law — for riding at night. Also get a light on your helmet, and wear reflective clothing. Also worth getting are blinking red lights for the rear of the bicycle. And keep in mind you can have the lights mounted on your bike illuminated in the daytime, as well as at night.
  • Bicyclists also can get mirrors to help them be aware of approaching vehicles.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers to ensure they’ve seen you and won’t pull out in front of you. If you’re worried that a driver may not see you, try waving, shouting or beeping your bike’s horn.
  • Ride as far to the right as possible, while keeping in mind that someone in a parked car could open their door suddenly and block your progress.
  • Don’t ride against traffic, but with the flow of traffic. A study reported by BicycleSafe.com indicates that riding against traffic is three times more dangerous than riding with the flow of traffic, and 25 percent of all bike crashes involve bicycles heading the wrong way.
  • As with driving a car, do not pass on the right.
  • Give turn signals, which mean pointing to the right with your right hand and arm if you’re turning right, or pointing to the left with your left hand and arm if turning left. You also can have your upper right arm parallel to the ground and your lower right arm and hand pointing upward to indicate a left turn.
  • Avoid using music players or mobile phones while you ride. These can be distracting and also can prevent you from hearing other vehicles.
  • Plan your route and look for bike paths or bike lanes where available.

Bicycle Safety Tips for Teens and Pre-Teens

With around half of all bicycle accidents involving children younger than 16, the NHTSA has these additional bicycle safety tips for teens and pre-teens, along with those listed above:

  • If you want to ride on a sidewalk, make sure that is legal in your community, and always yield to pedestrians.  But the NHTSA advises young riders to avoid or minimize riding on sidewalks.
  • Learn to drive your first bicycle safely, perhaps by first riding it in a park or on an empty parking lot.
  • Ride a bicycle that fits you. If it’s too large or too small, you may have difficulty controlling it.
  • Take a bicycle class at a local bike shop or at school.
  • Don’t fool around. Riding with no hands isn’t impressive — it’s foolish. Don’t ride a bike to impress friends with your zaniness. Ride a bike to protect yourself from injury. A bicycle may be a birthday present, but a bicycle isn’t a toy.
  • Tie your shoelaces and tuck them into your pants legs so they won’t get caught on your bicycle’s chain.
  • Don’t carry anything in your hands while riding a bike, but rather in a backpack or strapped to the rear of your bicycle.
  • Don’t try to carry a friend on your bike. Unless it has more than one seat, it’s only meant for one person.
  • Stay focused and ride defensively at all times. One moment of inattentiveness is all it takes for a crash to happen.

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If riding a bicycle defensively still doesn’t protect you or a family member from a collision causing injury, notify a bicycle accident lawyer with Jim S. Adler & Associates. You may be legally entitled to substantial payments for your bicycle injury medical costs and other losses.

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I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
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Lorenzo Preston
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