May is National Bike Month. It has been observed since 1956; however, the coronavirus pandemic has left most of us to “shelter-in-place” and “stay-at-home” well into the spring. Yet, some officials have promoted exercise outdoors while practicing social distancing. Biking can help maintain your health, boost your immune system, and fight COVID-19.
Benefits of Bike Riding
Bike riding has many benefits, assuming you ride safely. Cyclists can make the most of their quarantine during National Fitness & Sports Month and Mental Health Month. With two to four hours of cycling, the advantages include:
- A workout for all major muscle groups
- Increased strength, stamina, and fitness
- It can be fun and adventurous
- Cycling can be done in varying intensities
- Lower risk of strain compared to other types of exercise
Cycling is good for cardiovascular health and improves joint mobility, bone strength, and posture and coordination. A reduction in body fat is possible as well. Riding a bike can help prevent or manage a variety of diseases. In addition, it can reduce anxiety and depression as well as stress levels.
Is It Safe to Ride Outside?
Bike sales have surged as people have become wary of public transportation. But is riding during the pandemic safe? While bike races and other events have been canceled or postponed, cycling individually in noncrowded areas is more than likely safe, because coronavirus transmission is more likely when people congregate.
However, vigorous exercise and activity are not recommended if you have coronavirus, flu, or are otherwise sick. Otherwise, riding is most likely fine with the proper precautions. These include wearing masks or cloth face coverings in public settings (California officials have suggested wearing face coverings anywhere in public).
How to Ride Safely
To ride safely and protect yourself and others from the virus:
- Wear a moisture-wicking face covering
- Avoid riding in groups
- Don’t touch your face after contact with surfaces
- Clean public share bikes with sanitary wipes before riding
- If your clothing is spat on, wash it immediately when you get home
Other safety precautions include wearing a helmet, as protective equipment dramatically reduces the odds of having a head, face, or neck injury. Front and rear lights increase visibility, day and night. A blinking white light in front and blinking red light in the rear enable motorists and pedestrians to see you. Wearing brightly colored clothing helps as well. Wearing a camera may also help protect you in case of an injury that goes to court.
When on the road, obey all traffic laws, signals, street signs, and markings. Cities have seen reduced traffic during the outbreak, but it’s important to communicate using hand signals, so drivers know your intentions. Ride in a predictable manner and stay alert for any hazards such as curbs, potholes, and open car doors. Also, avoid texting while on your bicycle, which can cause crashes and traffic collisions.
Elements of a Negligence Claim
If a bicycle crash occurs, negligence can be pinned on the cyclist, driver of another vehicle, or both. A negligence claim must consider four elements. First, the defendant must have owed the plaintiff a legal duty, and then breached it by acting or failing to act such to avoid the circumstances that caused the accident. Causation, or the defendant’s actions or inaction that directly caused the injury, must be established as well.
The fourth element of a negligence claim is damages. The injury or harm suffered by the plaintiff must have resulted from the defendant’s actions.
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury while riding a bicycle, get in touch with The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani. We continue to serve our clients during the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more about how to pursue your personal injury case during this challenging time, and receive a free case evaluation, call Jacob at 888-952-2952.