Bicycling has gained so much popularity over the past few decades that many people cycle as their main mode of transportation. This has become so widespread that some major cities, such as Portland, Oregon, have set their traffic light systems at some intersections to include a bicycle-only phase for people approaching intersections so they can get to nearby bike lanes.
Bicycling enthusiasts tout the fitness benefits of commuting this way, as well as the money they save in gas or public transportation costs. Unfortunately, cycling also comes with risks of serious injury if you are involved in a bike accident.
National statistics are alarming: although only one percent of commuters ride bikes as their primary transportation method, people who ride bikes are at an even greater risk of death or injury, even more than motorcyclists. Victims of bike accidents should contact a bike accident attorney to advocate for them in any case against a negligent driver.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 1,000 victims are killed each year in bicycle accidents. Almost half a million more victims suffer serious or catastrophic injuries after being struck by a vehicle while on a bike.
There are even more alarming statistics for cyclists:
- The percentage of fatal bike accidents is even between accidents that occur during daylight hours and accidents that occur at night. However, 80 percent of bike trip occur during daylight hours, which emphasizes just how much more dangerous cycling at night is.
- Adults are the victims in 88 percent of fatal bike accidents. The average age of victims is 45.
- More than half of all fatal bike accident victims wore no helmet.
- Less than 30 percent of fatal bike accidents occur at intersections.
- Alcohol plays a role for both vehicle drivers and cyclists in fatal bike crashes. More than 20 percent of bike riders and 10 percent of vehicle drivers have a blood alcohol content over the legal limit.
So how can cyclists stay safe? Both vehicle drivers and cyclists play a role. Both need to avoid alcohol when operating their vehicles or bikes. A designated driver, ridesharing, or taxi should be the only mode of transportation if under the influence.
Another major contribution to bike accidents is the failure of vehicle drivers to see cyclists. They also fail to yield the right of way to cyclists like they would to another vehicle. Both drivers and cyclists need to follow the traffic laws of the state they are in.
Contact a Bike Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a bike accident, call a law firm right away to speak with the best bicycle accident lawyer in Memphis, TN. You may be entitled to financial compensation for any losses your injuries have caused you. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and more. Call a law office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Thanks to Patterson Bray for their insight into personal injury claims and bike accident stats.