Because bicyclists share the road with vehicles that are much larger, heavier, faster, and generally more dangerous, they are far more vulnerable to serious injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the problem of bicycle accidents is significant. In fact, the CDC shares that, while bike trips account for only about 1 percent of all trips in the U.S., cyclists face a much higher risk of sustaining crash-related injuries or being killed in accidents than drivers do.
Assessing the Risk
The CDC lists the important risk factors that are especially contributive to fatal and nonfatal bike accident injuries:
-Bicyclists who are between the ages of 50 and 59 are at the greatest risk of being in fatal bike accidents.
-Children who are between the ages of five and 14 and adolescents who are between the ages of 15 and 19 are at the greatest risk of sustaining nonfatal injuries related to bike accidents. This category accounts for more than a third of bike-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency rooms.
-Males are six times more likely to die and four times more likely to be injured while riding than females are.
-Most bike-related deaths happen in urban areas and away from intersections.
-Alcohol is involved in 37 percent of bicyclist deaths. This percentage accounts for alcohol usage by either the cyclist or the involved driver.
Even if the above risk categories do not apply to you, you are still at risk of being injured anytime you head out on your bicycle. No matter how careful you may be, you can never control the actions of drivers who may be distracted, drunk, or aggressive, and as a result, may crash into your bike.
Mitigating the Danger
Biking is a great way to stay active, to shorten commute times, and to decrease your carbon footprint, but as evidenced, biking can also be dangerous. As a bicyclist, always obey the safety rules of the road, and follow the CDC’s guidelines for preventing bike accidents:
-Wear a well-fitting bike helmet every single time you ride (the CDC finds that helmet laws effectively increase helmet usage and decrease fatal and nonfatal bike-related injuries)
-Wear fluorescent clothing during daylight hours, which can help make you visible from farther away
-Wear retro-reflective clothing at night, which can help make you more visible
-Equip your bike with active lighting, including a white front light and a rear red light (along with any other bike-light mechanisms), which can improve your visibility
At the Fountain Law Firm, P.C., we have successfully helped many bicycle accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for the injuries and related losses they’ve sustained in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. To receive the compensation that you’re entitled to, you need an experienced bike accident attorney to handle your case. Attorney Merry Fountain can meet with you today—either in your home or at her office. For a free consultation, Call Merry Fountain at 1-888-242-HURT (4878).