Why The Cold Can Make A New Haven Bicycle Accident More Likely

December 12, 2023
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As the mercury starts to decline, many hardcore bike riders are among us and weaving through the streets of the Elm City. If you’re one of the hearty few that like to get out onto the street and ride your bike in the cold winter months you know that there are some challenges that can come with riding in the cold. Some of these challenges, if you’re not careful, could lead to a New Haven bicycle accident and could take you off your bike with an injury for long stretches of time.

While riding your bike in the cold weather can be invigorating, you definitely don’t want it to be the reason you are not able to ride in the peak riding seasons of the spring and summer because you injured yourself in the winter. For this reason it is important to understand some of the things that can put you in a difficult position and increase your risk of getting hurt so you can try to avoid them at all costs. If you are able to stay upright on your bike for the entire winter then you can have the best of both worlds, an extra season for riding and a way to stay in shape so you can enjoy the spring and summer months.

The first and most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe no matter what season it is that you’re riding is to make sure you are wearing a well fitting helmet. While riding with a helmet is not required by law for anyone over the age of sixteen in Connecticut it is most certainly the best practice for those that are interested in staying safe while riding. When you’re on a bicycle you may be traveling at high speeds and a fall from that height at those speeds could be deadly if you are not protecting your head when you fall. Wearing a helmet is the #1 thing you can do to keep yourself free from a catastrophic bicycle accident.

Exclusive to the cold weather there are things you need to be on the lookout for when you are riding your bike so you can take steps to avoid them and maintain your safety even as the temperatures dip.

1.) Muscle strains and tears. This injury can occur because cold muscles are less flexible and if they are moved in the wrong way when they are cold they can become strained or even torn. To avoid this you will want to do some light stretching before you head out on your bike and ease into your bike ride so you can warm up your muscles before you really get into a heavy workout.

2.) Your hands and fingers play a large role in operating your bicycle. You use the dexterity in your hands to operate the gears and for braking. If they are cold, this can become challenging and present a real problem to you to be able to ride your bike safely. In order to make this issue not a problem for you, you will want to wear a warm set of gloves that will keep the blood flowing throughout your hands. Gloves will keep your hands warm and allow the dexterity that is sometimes lost with the cold weather to return and for you to operate your bike safely.

3.) Extreme weather conditions can lead to extremely dangerous physical conditions for your body while you’re riding. If you’re choosing to ride in the peak of the winter when temperatures can be below zero at times, you may be facing the prospect of either getting frostbite or hypothermia. Both conditions can cause serious issues on their own, but then combined with being on a bike, they can lead you to bad decisions and dangerous situations. To avoid these conditions you will want to make sure you are dressed in layers for your ride and also take breaks as needed. If you are feeling yourself getting significantly cold, find a place to go in and warm up before you get back on your bike to ride.

Riding your bike in cold weather isn’t for the faint of heart, but for those that enjoy it it can be an exhilarating experience. If you take the proper steps to keep yourself warm and avoid extreme weather conditions you will be able to maintain your safety and avoid getting into a New Haven bicycle accident even when temperatures are below freezing. Keeping yourself protected is the best thing you can do to be able to continue riding your bicycle year round without getting into any accidents that may lead to an injury.

You can take all the precautions in the world and still get injured. If this happens to you, you may wish to seek the support of an experienced attorney who has worked on situations just like yours in the past. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.