You may have heard about the Lakewood bicyclist who lost her life a couple weeks ago while riding in the Green Mountain area. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, her family, and the community. She likely could not have done anything to avoid this accident due to the vehicle driver being under the influence of drugs. However, it did make us stop to think about some safety precautions and how insurance can apply to an accident involving a bicycle.
As a local resident who has commuted to work on a bicycle the past 12 summers, we turned to our commercial agent, Jim Ziegler, for some safety recommendations while riding. He has observed many sudden close calls while riding. These experiences should remind all of us to be more alert when driving a motorized vehicle, riding a bike or even walking.
Jim’s Safety Recommendations:
- Ear buds – Ear buds, headphones and other devices make movements by pedestrians unpredictable, such as moving in front of you without warning, and make it less likely they will hear your announcement, bell or horn from behind.
- Music – If you can hear another person’s music, that person will most likely not hear you or not be aware you are nearby.
- Change of direction – Beware of pedestrians or bikers who suddenly turn around into your path or change direction without any sign or signal.
- Crossing busy intersections and streets – Sometimes it is smarter to slow down and walk your bike across the street. Also, watch for parked cars that may suddenly pull away from a curb or open their doors into your path.
- Young children – Even when walking or riding a bike with their parents, kids can jump, fall or accidentally steer in your path. Slow down just in case.
Not everyone stays focused on the path ahead, adjusts to unsafe conditions, stays off their cell phones and/or slows down when necessary, so take time to be observant and stay alert in order to help make Lakewood or your local neighborhood a safe place to live, work and play.
Do I have any insurance protection when riding my bike?
If you are riding your bicycle and hit by a car, the driver of the vehicle is usually considered at fault (assuming you are following all proper traffic laws). If the other driver is insured, their liability coverage should pay for your injuries and the damage caused to your personal belongings – bike, helmet, clothing, etc.
You may also have coverage under your personal auto policy for your injuries. Medical payments covers the named insured(s) of the policy and their resident family members while occupying, maintaining or using a motor vehicle OR as a pedestrian or bicyclist when struck by a motor vehicle.
If the at fault driver does not have insurance or does not carry enough insurance to cover your injuries, you may find additional coverage under your personal auto policy. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury provides coverage up to your policy limits in this situation.