The warm weather has arrived in many parts of the country and that means more bicyclists out on the road. In general, bicycle riding is up- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2000 to 2012, the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased from 488,000 to about 786,000. With more bicyclists out on the road, comes the risk of more accidents; while passenger vehicle deaths decreased in 2012 from 2011, bicyclist fatalities increased from 682 to 726 and injuries increased from 48,000 to 49,000. More bicyclist fatalities occur during the summer months of July through September since the warmer weather brings out more riders.
When a collision happens between a vehicle and bicycle, it is typically the cyclist who is injured. If you or a loved one is injured in a summer bicycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
- In 2012, bicyclists accounted for two percent of all traffic accident fatalities and two percent of all crash-related injuries.
- Forty-eight percent of bicyclist fatalities occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight and 69 percent occurred in urban areas.
- Almost 9 in 10 (88 percent) of bicyclists killed were male.
- Twenty-four percent of bicyclists who died in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, which is the illegal alcohol level in all States.
Top Bicyclist/Motorist Mistakes to Avoid
Many car/bicycles collisions could be avoided if bicyclists and motorists followed the rules of the road.
Top Bicyclist Mistakes
- Bicyclist rides out into the street from an alley, driveway, or from between parked cars without stopping or looking for traffic. Looking both ways before heading out is imperative.
- Bicyclist turns or swerves suddenly directly into the path of a motorist who doesn’t have time to react. Hand signals should always be used along with careful shoulder checking before changing lanes.
- Bicyclist runs a red light. Bicyclists are expected to follow the same rules of the road as drivers.
- Bicyclist rides in the wrong direction, approaching cars head-on. Always ride with the flow of traffic to minimize your chance of being involved in a deadly accident.
- Bicyclist rides while impaired. A bicyclist is not any safer riding while intoxicated than a driver.
Top Motorist Mistakes
- Driver turns in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk; often at an intersection. Drivers must yield to bicyclists as you would a motorist.
- Driver fails to see bicyclist; these types of crashes tend to happen in parking lots, stop sign or when backing out of a parking spot.
- Driver turns right on a red light without looking to their right back for an approaching bicyclist. Always come to a complete stop and look carefully before turning.
- Driver is driving too fast for poor road conditions and doesn’t have time to slow down when a bicyclist comes into the roadway unexpectedly.
- Driver passes a bicycle too closely.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!