The year was 1990. I was 25 years old, had just graduated law school and of course was bullet-proof. Following the bar exam, I embarked upon my lifelong goal: riding a bicycle alone across the country. I started from my parents’ house in Scottsdale and didn’t stop riding until I reached my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Cranston, Rhode Island – a total of 3,704 miles. I met some amazing people, saw the country as I never had before (or since), and learned a tremendous amount about myself.
And I would never, ever do it again. It’s just too dangerous.
Okay, so I’m older and far more cautious than I was back then. But the statistics scare me. In 2018, 857 bicyclists were killed nationwide in traffic accidents. During 2018 in Arizona alone, 24 cyclists were killed and 1,182 were injured, making Arizona the fifth most dangerous bicycling state in the country. And in this age of cell phones and texting while driving, bicycling on busy roads is far more dangerous than in 1990. “Always remember that you are an annoyance to motorists,” I tell my kids, with the hope of teaching them to cycle defensively.
We have represented many bicyclists over the years who suffered serious injuries due to a motorist’s negligence. Often times, a negligent driver will have either no insurance or insufficient liability insurance to adequately compensate a seriously injured bicyclist for medical bills, loss of earnings and pain and suffering.
Surprisingly, there is an easy remedy for this: Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage.
This auto coverage is affordable (much cheaper than auto liability coverage), readily available (in limits up to your auto policy’s liability limits), and best of all, will provide compensation to injured bicyclists, provided they were injured as a result of the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured motorist. That’s right, your auto policy can fully compensate you for an injury caused by a motorist. . . even though you were riding your bicycle at the time of the collision!
And, yes, I still ride regularly. I’m much less of a risk taker these days, and tend to avoid busy city streets. And for my protection and that of my family, I carry ample limits of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage under my auto insurance policy. Make sure you do as well!