The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy, but it has also led to an unexpected benefit for retailers who sell bicycles. An industry analyst has found that bicycle sales in the United States has seen its biggest spike since the oil crisis of the 1970s.
The Bangor Daily News cited “fitness junkies locked out of gyms, commuters fearful of public transit and families going stir crazy inside their homes” as factors that have driven sales of bicycles in the state.
Bicycles are a hot commodity
It isn’t just Maine. The story noted that throughout the country, “bicycle aisles at mass merchandisers like Walmart and Target have been swept clean, and independent shops are doing a brisk business and are selling out of affordable ‘family’ bikes.”
Before the pandemic, bicycle sales had been expected to decline based on disappointing results in 2019. The boom began in mid-March – just as businesses were closing and stay-at-home orders were being issued.
The benefits of this boom are undeniable. It helps business owners. It gets people outside to view the beautiful scenery in our state. It gets people engaged in healthy activity.
It also puts more bicyclists on the road and that increases the risk of a bicycle accident.
In general, bicyclists have the same rights as drivers on the road, but too many drivers don’t see it that way. They treat bicyclists like an annoyance, if they even notice them at all.
Dangerous drivers are a threat to bicyclists
It only takes one negligent driver to cause a bicycle accident. A driver who is speeding, operating recklessly, texting or busy talking on the phone. The result is a collision that leaves bicyclists seriously hurt.
Common injuries seen in bicycle accidents include:
- Neck injuries – These injuries include damage to muscles and tendons; herniated, displaced or fractured discs and pinched nerves.
- Concussions or traumatic brain injury (TBI) – If a bicyclist’s head is hit by a car or makes contact with the ground, the result can be a brain injury that causes problems with memory, balance and other functions.
- Nerve damage – A serious crash can cause nerve damage, resulting in difficult controlling arms, legs, fingers, hands and other parts of the body.
- Broken bones – Bicyclists who are hit by a car or thrown off of their bicycles can suffer broken bones in the arm, leg, hip, wrist or collarbone.
- Lacerations – An injured bicyclist may suffer a deep cut that requires stitches and that is disfiguring.
What to do after a bicycle accident
If you are hit while on your bicycle, there are steps you can take to protect your health and your legal rights. Get medical attention, even if you think you’re not hurt. Call the police to document the accident. Ask the driver for contact and insurance information.
Next, get legal advice. If you’re hurt in a bicycle accident caused by a driver’s negligence, you deserve financial compensation. Recovering that compensation can be a complicated process. Drivers deny responsibility and insurance companies will always try to pay you less.
The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein offers a free consultation. Contact us online to get started. Since 1974, our attorneys have helped over 25,000 injured and disabled Mainers collect more than $500 million in settlements and benefits. We are Maine lawyers working for Maine people.