A horrific bicycling accident took place in Onondaga County a few weeks ago. The poor guy was riding his “road” bike, that is, a racing style bicycle, along a State Route 20. He was doing everything right; had his helmet on, was wearing proper bright clothing, was riding on the right side of the road near the shoulder. As he approached an intersection, he was traveling a few car lengths behind, and to the right of, a car. Another car coming in the opposite direction allowed that car to pass through the intersection, and then, without seeing the cyclist, turned left into him. The injuries are horrible. This young man will be disabled for life, and will have a lifetime of pain and suffering. He will need major reconstructive surgery.
The case reminds me again of how dangerous bicycling on public roads is. It is a risk that I myself, and one of my partners, Lee Michaels, take on a regular basis — we are both avid cyclists. That’s one reason why we have become passionate central New York bicycle accident attorneys. Lee has had several close calls — and injuries, including fractures, from biking accidents. I have been luckier, but maybe that’s because I haven’t been biking as long. Why do we do it? Why does anyone do any hobby? We love it! It’s great exercise, you get marvelous views of the incredible Finger Lakes region where we live and work, and you meet great people with the same interest.
Yes, cycling is dangerous. But then again, so is life (you never get out of it alive!). The trick is to try to minimize the risks (but you can’t eliminate them all). One way to do so when bicycling is to realize that many motorists simply fail to “see” cyclists. We are invisible to them! To be on the safe side, we cyclists must always assume we are invisible. Unless you actually make eye contact with a motorist, don’t assume he sees you. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you should go — ride defensively! For other bicycle safety tips, go to the FAQ page of our website .