For thousands of Americans, riding a bike to work or for exercise is a way of life. Like a motorcycle rider, however, a bicyclist must know that absence or lack of bodily protection puts him/her at high risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.
In 2013, 900 bicyclists died, and about 494,000 were rushed to emergency departments due to injuries sustained in accidents. In 2014, the Educational Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety program, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) introduced, was said to be a very big factor in reducing the number of fatal bicycle accidents, making it go down to 720, a 20% reduction.
Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reveal that:
- The most common victims in fatal bicycle accident are adolescents and young adults, aged from 15 to 29 and adults 45 years and older
- Victims in non-fatal bicycle-related injuries are usually children aged between 5 and 14 and those between 15 and 24 years old
- The two top contributing factors to bicyclist deaths are alcohol-impairment and failure to wear a helmet
- The states of California and Florida are the top states where the highest number of male cyclists get killed every year
Thousands of bike accidents lead to fatalities or serious injuries every year. Thus, in an effort to keep bicyclists safe, many states have implemented the bicycle helmet law for children and adults due to the added safety that a helmet can provide. The U.S. Department of Transportation has also made known its Safer People, Safer Streets initiative this 2015 in an effort to improve non-motorized safety.
According to the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., the trauma suffered by bicycle riders can never be undone, however, the parties responsible for causing the accident, which resulted to a victim’s injuries or death, need to be held responsible for their actions or inaction. Thus, bicyclists, who are injured because of the negligence of some drivers or someone who never did a good job, such as in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries they suffer. Being represented by a highly-competent personal injury or bicycle accident lawyer may be necessary for the victim’s better chances of getting the compensation that he/she is legally allowed to claim and receive.