Summer is the perfect time of year to ride bikes through the beautiful roads and trails across the state of West Virginia. Although many riders are able to safely navigate through the streets, accidents do happen. To help safeguard riders against injury, the state mandates that every bicycle rider under the age of 15 must wear a helmet. Further, some towns in West Virginia have even stricter rules regarding helmets and older riders, such as in the following locations:
Clarksburg – Riders under the age of 18 must wear helmets Morgantown – Riders of all ages are required to wear helmets South Charleston – Riders under the age of 18 must wear helmets St. Albans – Riders under the age of 18 must wear helmets
In addition to wearing approved helmets, the National Bicycle Safety Network (NBSN) recommends several ways to help riders stay safe this summer:
1. Young riders should take a bicycle safety course in order to learn good riding skills, such as how to perform panic stops and how to ride in inclement weather.
2. Be familiar with off-road and trail bicycling techniques and use only equipment that is suitable for the terrains on which you’ll be riding.
3. Educate yourself and any riders in your family as to the laws for bicyclists in your area, including hand signals, where riding is permitted and which traffic signals you must obey.
4. Equip your bicycle, helmet and riding gear with the proper lights and reflector strips, especially if you plan on riding at night. Blinking red lights are preferable over stationary lights. A bright white headlight is also helpful and recommended.
Proper bicycle safety can prevent broken bones and head injuries that are commonly reported from these types of accidents. If you have been injured by a vehicle while riding your bike, be sure to contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer to defend your rights.