Bicycle Injury Facts and Statistics
Summer is quickly approaching, which means an increase in bicycling. Unfortunately, this also can mean an increase in bicycle injuries. Bicyclists are becoming more and more common on our roadways, especially in urban areas like Atlanta. Cyclists are at a significant disadvantage safety-wise than those traveling by car, as bicycles lack significant safety features. A bicycle accident can result in severe injuries.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), pedalcyclist deaths account for two percent of all fatalities involving motor vehicle accidents. There were 743 pedalcyclists involved in fatal accidents involving motor vehicles in 2013, a 19 percent increase since 2010. The NHSTA also estimates that approximately 48,000 were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles.
Major Risk Factors for Bicycle Related Injuries and Death Include:
Adolescents (aged 15-24) and adults 45 years and older have the greatest bicycle death rates.
Children aged 5 and up, adolescents, and young adults up to age 24 have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle related injuries (60%).
Males have a higher risk of injury or death than females.
Most bicycle accident related deaths occur in urban areas, particularly at non-intersection locations.
Safety Tips to Prevent Injury or Death:
Everyone who rides a bicycle should wear properly fitted helmets each time they ride, no exceptions. Wearing a bicycle helmet is the most effective way to prevent head injury in the event of an accident.
Pedalcyclists must obey the same traffic laws as other vehicle operators. They are considered vehicle operators and therefore must obey traffic signals, signs, and lane markings. If riding a bicycle in the street, pedalcyclists must ride their bike in the direction of traffic.
Motor vehicle operators must share the road with bicyclists. Drivers must allow at least three feet of clearance when passing, be sure to look for cyclists when opening car doors, backing up, or turning, and must yield to bicyclists at intersections or as directed by road signs and traffic signals.
At all times, bicyclists should ensure that they are visible to drivers, and take the appropriate precautions at all times of day. During the day, they should wear brightly colored clothing. At night, they should use a front light, reflector, or flashing rear light, and wear reflective clothing.
If you have been injured in a bicycle collision, turn to our Atlanta injury attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC for trusted representation.