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Enjoy Bicycling During National Bike Month – But Watch out for Dogs

Posted on May 3, 2017 Animal Bite/Dog Bits,Bicycle Injury,State Law

Since 1956, the League of American Bicyclists has sponsored a National Bike Month in May to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and to encourage more folks to try bicycling.

To keep bicycling safe this May, it is helpful to review Bicycling Magazine’s tips Bicycling Magazine’s tips for dealing with aggressive dogs.

  • The average dog can sprint about 19 mph. If you are capable of out-sprinting the dog, try taking the dog on a field sprint.  The downside of this approach is that you will be going really fast if the dog gets in front of your bicycle.
  • Try to deter or scare the dog by yelling, squirting it with your water bottle, using an air horn or using pepper spray. If you use pepper spray, make sure not to accidentally spray yourself.
  • You can try stopping the bicycle and putting the bicycle between yourself and the dog. Sometimes if you stop moving this will mitigate the dog’s aggression.
  • The dog may cease attack mode if you give it something to chew on.
  • If all else fails, the dog may give up its attack if you play dead.

If you do end up injured, Wisconsin’s Dog Bite Statute makes the owner and/or keeper of the dog strictly liable for the full amount of damages caused by their dog causing injury to a person, including a bicyclist.  There is no statutory exception for innocent acts of the dog as opposed to aggressive biting.  This means the statute applies even if your injuries are caused by a bicycle crash as opposed to a dog bite.

If you are injured by a dog while bicycling, it is important to seek legal representation.  The personal injury attorneys at Bye, Goff & Rohde have extensive experience litigating dog injury cases.  If you are injured by a dog, you can contact us for a free consultation.