For many people, riding a bike to work or for morning exercise is a way to keep themselves fit and healthy. Much like like motorcycle riders, bicyclists should know that they too face higher risks of crash-related injury and death compared to motor vehicle occupants.
In 2013, the total number of bicyclists that died was 900, while an estimated 494,000 were rushed to emergency department due to accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles. In 2014, due to educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety programs introduced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal bicycle accidents went down by 20% to 720.
Separate studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal the following facts:
- Adolescents and young adults whose ages range from 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older are the most common victims in fatal bicycle accidents.
- Children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old have the highest rates of non-fatal bicycle-related injuries.
- The top two cities where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year (in accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles) are California and Florida. These two cities, with Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas account for 54% of all cycling fatalities from 2010 to 2012 which total to 2,023 (621 in 2010; ;680 in 2011; and, 722 in 2012).
- The two major contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are failure to wear a helmet and alcohol-impairment.
According to one cycling accident lawyer from the Hankey Law Office, cyclists must do without seat belts, air bags, or other protective features offered by enclosed vehicles. They rely only on their helmet and elbow/knee pads to prevent injury. Unfortunately, while such protective gear may be effective in minor spills or falls, it is much less effective in a serious accident involving much larger, heavier, and faster vehicles.
If, due to another person, a bicyclist is injured in an accident, it may be advantageous to seek legal assistance from a seasoned personal injury or cycling accident lawyer for the best legal action he/she can pursue.Read More