If you are new to The Crescent City, you may not realize how much bicycle enthusiasts have embraced New Orleans. Autumn is on its way, which is a great time for bike lovers to enjoy riding. However, cyclists are vulnerable to injury, especially when they are in close proximity to motorists.

Programmed for bigger vehicles

From the perspective of a cyclist riding next to traffic in one of our new bike lanes, the main problem is that drivers do not always see bicycles. Motorists are programmed to see other cars and trucks, not small, moving objects. Another issue is that drivers often do not realize how fast a bicycle rider can move. For example, the driver on your left may make a right turn directly in front of you, not realizing you are traveling at a faster pace than s/he thought, and that could cause a horrific collision. Another serious crash can occur if you are riding next to a line of parked cars and a driver opens the car door just as you approach.

Head injuries and more

Even a minor vehicle-bicycle accident can cause injuries severe enough to warrant a hospital stay, and the accident is often caused by driver negligence, resulting in a claim for compensation to cover medical costs and more for the injured cyclist. Although riders suffer a wide variety of injuries, head trauma tops the list. In fact, head injuries prompt about 30 percent of the emergency room visits for cyclists.

Opting for helmets

Many government agencies have joined forces to educate the cycling public about the need to wear helmets. Studies have found that only 19 percent of adults wear helmets on a regular basis when riding. Grabbing yours would be a good idea, especially if you are planning to ride in the travel lanes that are now available in our city. It is a great way to increase your safety while you cycle through New Orleans and enjoy the fall weather.