Biking to work is both good for your health and good for the environment, but bicycling accidents can happen even when you are being careful and following all the rules of the road. If you’ve sustained an injury after a bicycling accident on Charleston, SC’s busy roads, talk to HawkLaw for help. To stay safe and accident-free, consider these tips for biking to work in the city of Charleston.
Bicycling Accidents in Charleston
While Charleston is a city growing in popularity, it won a distinction from Bicycling.com in 2016 no city wants – The Worst City for Cycling.
There are some initial advantages that make the city seem like the ideal place for a cyclist. The roads are relatively flat and the climate is moderate, so it is easy to avoid exhausting hills on swelteringly hot days. The core of the city also offers short blocks and narrow streets that reduce the concentration and speed of traffic. The smaller streets make for a less stressful environment in which to ride. In 2010, the 29th best city in the United States for biking was Charleston.
However, in the last eight years, Charleston has fallen behind. Other cities around the country have been adapting their roads and infrastructure to be more bike-friendly and encourage people to begin riding their bikes everywhere. Charleston has not made any effort to do this. There are few bike lanes and trails. People have asked the city and state government to fix this, but officials inform them that there is no money in the budget for such adaptations.
In 2013, the city claimed that bikes locked on the streets were impeding sidewalk traffic. They created a rule that the main drag is the only place where cyclists could lock their bikes. Reducing the locations where people can lock their bikes discourages riders – if they can’t park their bikes, they might as well drive.
Biking advocates are now trying to get a two-way bike lane on the T. Allen Legare Bridge. It connects the suburban West Ashley, where many people live, to the peninsula. A census taken from parts of West Ashley found that zero women commute by bike. Consider that, on the peninsula, 7.5% of women ride their bikes.
How do I Stay Safe Biking on Charleston’s Roads?
While in many ways the city of Charleston does not encourage biking, there are ways that you can still bike and stay safe with the current infrastructure and culture of the city.
Cars do not generally drive too fast, and there are many roads that are long and straight, so visibility is very good. The city requires that riders have a white light in the front for greater visibility after sunset. Cyclists must also have a red rear reflector so cars can be aware your presence on the road after dark.
What to Do After a Bicycling Accident?
If you have been involved in a bicycling accident in Charleston, seek medical attention as soon as you can. Not only is this a safer course of action for your health, but it will also establish that the accident caused your injuries. Proving your injury was because of the accident is important if you decide to file a lawsuit. It is also wise to take photographs of the scene of the accident, state of your bike, and any other pictures that would be relevant to a case. Choose an attorney to represent you who has a thorough knowledge of South Carolina traffic laws and bicycle accidents and can help you get full compensation for your injuries. Contact HawkLaw today for a free consultation. (843) 737-9356