Despite these benefits, however, bicycling does have a dangerous side. Bicyclists who share the roads with cars, trucks and other motor vehicles are at risk of suffering injuries in accidents. Fortunately, bicyclists can take steps to help keep them safe.
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Bicycling, as both a mode of transportation and of recreation, is on the rise across the country. But with this growing popularity comes a growing number of injuries and deaths due to bicycle accidents.
Recent data that illustrates the danger includes:
- In 2012, 726 people died in bicycle crashes with motor vehicles nationwide; 49,000 were injured.
- The total cost of bicycle crash injuries and deaths totals approximately $4 billion per year.
- Bicyclist injuries between 2001 and 2011 increased by 8.9%.
Statistics on the age, gender, and location of bicycle crashes are enlightening as well:
- In 2012 the average age of bicyclists killed in accident with vehicles was 43 years old.
- 88% of people killed in bicycle crashes were male.
- 69% of fatal bike crashes occurred in urban areas; 30% occurred between 4-8 p.m.
- 24% of bicyclists killed in crashes had Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 g/dL or higher.
When a bicycle crash results in injury, the data illustrates clearly that collisions with vehicles is the greatest danger to bicyclists:
- In 2012, nearly one third of injury bicycle crashes happen in a collision with a motor vehicle;
- 17% of injuries occurred when the bicyclist fell;
- 13% happened in a bike crash caused by uneven or unrepaired roadways;
- 13% were due to rider error or inattention.
Obviously, bicyclists are much more vulnerable than drivers and passengers inside a motor vehicle. That helps to explain why they suffer so many injuries and deaths each year, despite the fact that trips by bicycle represent only about one percent of all travel in the country.
Seems like a no-brainer to wear a helmet each time you skateboard, bicycle, or inline skate, doesn't it? If that one statistic doesn't convince you to make this a habit, click here for this story from Bill Coats Law, a personal injury law firm in Bellingham, WA, with recent statistics and advice on buying a helmet.
It's no mystery. Wearing a bike helmet when you bicycle, skateboard, inline skate, or ride a scooter greatly reduced your chance of getting a brain injury. For recent statistics on bicycle crashes and injuries, as well as tips on finding the right helmet, click here for this article from Bellingham lawyer Bill Coats, a bicycle and car crash attorney.
Though the technology and design improves more and more with each year, bicycle helmets can't always protect bicyclists from TBI. If you've hit your head in a bike crash, know the signs and symptoms of this all too common problem, from this post by bike accident attorney Bill Coats Law in Bellingham WA.
It’s not just embarrassing – being “doored” while on a bicycle can be lethal. Being doored means a bike rider slams into the door of a vehicle that has been opened negligently. Sometimes the bike zone is actually in a dangerous place, or riding in this zone is unavoidable. This can happen on any road where bikes travel alongside cars parked parallel to the street. Depending on your state, there are laws against it, which means being doored can mean there was an at-fault party. But this doesn’t mean the claim would be so cut and dried. Click here to learn about your legal options if you were "doored" by a car while riding your bike.
As the weather warms, more people take their bicycles on the road, for commuting to work, helping the environment, exercise, recreation, and to save on automobile expenses. As bicycling gains in popularity, also on the rise is the likelihood of a crash with a car, truck, or other vehicle – and, so often, these crashes result in serious injury or death to the cyclist involved. In sharing the road with bicyclists, motorists can do a few simple things to make everyone's journey safer. Click here for tips on how to avoid common errors that drivers sometimes make that can result in serious injury or death.
Did you know that some cities do not require bicyclists to wear helmets? There is no state law mandating their use, either. This is surprising, due to statistics showing that “helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent,” according to the Bicycle Safety Helmet Institute, a volunteer advocacy group. Go here to learn how helmets protect you, and why you should never get on your bike without one.
As bicycling gains in popularity, also on the rise is the likelihood of a crash with a car, truck, or other vehicle – and, so often, these crashes result in serious injury or death to the cyclist involved. According to the NHTSA, while overall passenger vehicle deaths decreased in 2012, bicyclist fatalities increased. Bicyclists injured in accidents with a vehicle also rose during this time. In sharing the road with bicyclists, motorists can do a few simple things to make everyone's journey safer.