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What Should Bicyclists Know to Keep Safe in Omaha?

By Jason Bottlinger on June 29, 2021

Omaha is a bicycle-friendly community. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in April 2019 to celebrate the completion of a 38-mile bike trail network, as reported on 3 KMTV. More than 600 signs at over 400 Omaha locations are posted on the trails in this network. These signs are designed to help cyclists navigate in unfamiliar areas, alert motorists to watch for bicycles, and assist bicyclists in a number of ways.

But cyclists still face hazards, and accidents continue to happen. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, 239 injuries were sustained in accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles in Nebraska. Having the information you need can help keep you safe while cycling in Omaha.

Where Are the Busiest Intersections in Omaha?

One way to reduce your risk of a crash is to avoid busy intersections. That is where accidents are more likely to occur. In ascending order, these are the 10 busiest intersections in Omaha, as stated in an article in Star Herald:

  • 72nd and Grover – 64,000 vehicles a day
  • 108th and Maple – 65,100 vehicles a day
  • 86th/Cass Street and Dodge – 65,900 vehicles a day
  • 78th and Dodge – 66,200 vehicles a day
  • 144th and Industrial Road – 69,150 vehicles a day
  • 72nd and Pacific – 72,300 vehicles a day
  • 72nd and Dodge – 75,850 vehicles a day
  • 132nd and L/Industrial Road – 84,250 vehicles a day
  • 120th and L – 84,750 vehicles a day
  • 90th and Dodge – 106,900 vehicles a day

What Can Riders Do to Protect Themselves?

Riding in the city can be risky for cyclists, even in bike friendly Omaha. When a 4,000 lb. motor vehicle collides with a bike, it is the cyclist who is likely to be seriously injured. The following tips can help you minimize the risk:

  • Wear a proper helmet.
  • Never ride against traffic.
  • Avoid sudden movement that might surprise motorists.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing and reflectors.
  • Equip your bike with a rearview mirror.
  • Use paved shoulders on the highway to avoid trucks.
  • Use hand signals.
  • Make sure your brakes can stop your bike in 25 feet at 10 mph.
  • Install a light in the front, a red reflector on the rear, side reflectors on your wheels, and reflectors on your pedals for night riding.

What Local Resources Are Available for Cyclists?

The Nebraska Department of Transportation offers information for bicyclists on its Bike – Hike- Walk page. This information includes a Nebraska bicycle map, a bicycle safety brochure, and outside links to a variety of sources. It even provides a bicycle activity sheet for children.

Resources for cyclists, including lists of local clubs and organizations and advocacy groups, are provided on Bike Walk Nebraska. If you need to rent a bicycle, you can find a rated list of bike rental services in Omaha on Yelp.

What Can a Rider Do When an Accident Happens?

No matter how diligently you ride, you face the risk of a bicycle accident on Omaha roadways. Negligent motor vehicle drivers can put bicyclists at serious risk, particularly when they are inattentive, fatigued, distracted, or intoxicated. Some drivers simply fail to register bicycles in the roadway.

If the worst happens and you are hurt in a collision, get medical attention for your injuries and contact an experienced Omaha personal injury lawyer.

At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., our founding attorney has more than a decade of experience and has been awarded membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are compassionate listeners and effective litigators. Call us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation if you have been hurt in a bicycle crash.

 

 

Posted in: Bicycle Accidents

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