By now, most of us know the proper equipment to take when we are out biking to have fun, to commute, or to exercise. It has likely been drilled into your head that you should always wear a helmet, along with brightly colored clothing. Many bikers also carry a simple repair kit and a sturdy U-lock to secure their bike at their destination. Even if you take all of these things on every ride, however, you are still missing some of the most important things for a truly safe ride.
Washington, D.C. is paving the way in the United States with bike shares, commuters, and cycling enthusiasts all taking to the streets to experience the Capital District on two wheels. Because of the rapid increase in bicycle travel, there has also been an uptick in bicycle/car accidents. While cyclists wearing helmets always fare better physically than those who do not, there are always a few essential items that can help save a biker should they find themselves the victims of a collision.
The first item you should always carry with you, especially if you are out biking alone, is a cell phone. Being able to contact emergency personnel is critical if you are injured, and the driver who hit you may not always stick around to ensure that you are OK. Many a biker (as well as runners, walkers, and hikers) have been saved because they were able to reach someone in an emergency.
A trend that has gained popularity among the running crowd is ID bracelets containing the runner’s name, emergency contacts, and critical medical information, such as allergies. These are also a fantastic idea for bicyclists, as it allows first responders to gain critical information about you if you are unconscious and injured. Even if you do not have an ID bracelet, something as simple as your driver’s license will help medical personnel identify you.
Finally, if you have medical insurance, carrying a copy of your insurance policy with you—or even just your policy number—can assist the hospital in administering medical attention quickly.
While the saying is “a pound of prevention is worth two pounds of the cure,” for a D.C. area cyclist, the above items are just as important as the helmets and safety equipment that you use as prevention. While you hope that you will never need to call upon them, if you are ever in need, you will be thankful you were prepared.
If you have been injured in a northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., or Maryland bicycle accident, you are not alone in your fight to get compensation for your injuries. Call the Bethesda bicycle accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation, and start pedaling once again down the road to recovery.