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Preventing Springfield Bike Accidents with Back-to-School Safety Tips

Commuting to school via bicycle is a popular option for many children and college students. In fact, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, about four percent of bicyclists say they ride in order to commute to-and-from school. With around nine million bike trips every day occurring in the U.S., this means there are a significant number of people on the roads riding to and from class. Unfortunately, bike riding can be dangerous business, especially for young people. bike

Drivers need to be aware that their may be more kids on the road now that school is coming back into session. Parents also need to help ensure that their children are making smart choices and following best practices for safety when they commute via bicycle. If an accident does occur, victims and their families have legal rights. A personal injury lawyer can help.

Bike Safety an Important Issue

Kids who ride their bikes to school may face serious risk of injury or death in a motor vehicle collision. In fact, while just 3.2 percent of bicycle trips involve children who are aged 15 or younger, around 18 percent of total bike accidents that caused injury in 2010 affected someone under the age of 14.

Parents can do their part to try to keep kids from getting hurt on their bikes. Parents Central at SaferCar.gov provides information and advice for parents. Parents are urged to ensure that their children wear helmets while riding and that those helmets are properly fitted to the child.

Helmets cannot prevent all injuries or fatalities so the goal should always be to reduce the risk of a collision occurring. Choosing a safe route is one way to reduce the danger and 10 Characteristics of a Safe Route have been identified including:

  • Selecting a road where there is a low volume of traffic.
  • Choosing a road that has bicycle lanes, or at least sidewalks or paths for bicyclists.
  • Selecting a road where the speed limit is low.
  • Ensuring that the route does not have overgrown bushes or trees that obstruct the driver’s views of the bicycle rider.
  • Selecting a road where there are pedestrian crossings and where there are traffic signals.
  • Ensuring that the route has sufficient and adequate lighting so bicyclists can be seen by drivers.
  • Choosing a route where there are multiple pedestrians and bicycle riders.
  • Looking for an area where there is a neighborhood watch or other safety group to look out for people who violate the laws.
  • Looking for an area where there are pedestrian or bicycle rider groups led by safe role models.
  • Selecting a route where drivers are generally responsible and respectful of all parties on the road, and where the drivers generally obey the speed limit and other rules of the road.

Unfortunately, bicycle riders cannot predict the behavior of drivers, although driver actions are fundamentally important to safety. Drivers need to be aware there may be kids commuting to school and should take extra precautions to pay attention and be safe.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030.

Most Dog Owners Engaging in Distracted Driving in Missouri

Dog owners who take their animals in the car with them may be largely underestimating just how much of a distraction their canines can be in a motor vehicle. When responding to a recent AAA Survey only 29 percent of dog owners said that their animal was a distraction when they brought their dog along for a car ride. In reality, however, 65 percent of people who traveled with their pet in their vehicle engaged in some kind of distracting behavior. dog

The majority of pet owners – 84 percent – said they bring their dog with them in the car sometimes, whether to go to the pet store or dog park or to run errands or go on vacation. Unfortunately, many of these dog owners are endangering themselves or others when their animal is in the car with them. If you are hurt by a distracted dog owner in a motor vehicle accident, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Dog Owners are Often Distracted By Their Pets

Dog owners engage in a variety of different kinds of behaviors that are classified as a distraction when their pets ride in the car with them. For example:

  • 17 percent of dog owners said they allowed their pets to ride on their lap while driving.
  • 52 percent of pet owners whose dogs were in the car with them pet the pup while driving.
  • 13 percent of pet owners who traveled in the vehicle with their dogs fed the animal treats or food while driving.
  • Four percent of people driving with their dogs in the car played with the pups while behind the wheel.

When a dog owner engages in any of these behaviors, he takes his eyes and his focus off of the road. Research has shown that any time someone looks away for two or more seconds from the record, the risk of an accident significantly increases. These activities are taking the dog owner’s attention away for far longer than two seconds.

Unfortunately, if a dog owner does get into an accident with a pet in the car, the animal is in danger and could also cause injury to others in the vehicle. Only 16 percent of people who take their dog in the car with them said they use any kind of pet restraint system to secure the animal. As Esurance points out, a dog that is not restrained becomes a projective. A 10 pound dog in a 50 mile per hour crash can create the equivalent of 500 pounds of force and an 80 pound dog in a 30 mile per hour crash can create force equal to 2,400 pounds.

To ensure your pet does not become a distraction and to prevent your dog from becoming a projectile if a collision occurs, pet owners should always restrain their pets in the car. There are pet seat belts that can be used to keep the animal in place or pet owners can have a securely-fastened crate or carrier in their vehicles to keep the pet safe.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030.