Early Analysis Shows Bicycle Accident Fatality Rate Increased During COVID-19
While the COVID-19 Pandemic is not over and it may be a little longer before 2020 bicycle accidents and injuries data are fully analyzed, we have enough information now to know that more bicyclists were killed in accidents in the early part of the pandemic as a percentage of total traffic accidents. Everyone remembers the almost empty streets that marked the stay-at-home orders in the early days of the pandemic. With so few cars on the road during those months, it makes sense that car accidents dropped dramatically. The rate of bicycle accidents and corresponding injuries, on the other hand, increased during the pandemic shutdowns. As we begin to analyze the numbers, the picture becomes clearer.
Your Bicycle Accident Questions Answered
Cities such as Bellingham, Washington have a fairly high number of cyclists co-existing with motor vehicles on its roads. Sadly, every year, hundreds of bicyclists are struck by drivers and often end up badly injured. According to iihs.org, 843 bicyclists were killed in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles in 2019. The good news is that this was a three percent decrease from the 868 bicyclist deaths that occurred in 2018, but overall cyclist deaths have increased 36 percent since reaching their lowest point in 2010.
When you factor in the size difference alone, it’s easy to see why cyclists are at a much higher risk for injury and death when they are involved in a crash with a car or truck. Injured cyclists deserve justice and maximum compensation for their injuries. In this article we will answer some of the most common questions about bike accidents involving motor vehicles.
Reduce Bicycle Accidents: New WA State Bike Rules Require Motor Vehicles to Give Cyclists 3 Feet of Space When Passing
As reported by komonews.com, new rules for bicycle safety went into effect in Washington State on January 1, 2020. The new rules were approved by Washington State lawmakers in May, 2019.
New WA State bike rules go into effect to reduce bicycle accidents
There are three components to the rule change:
- Drivers now have to give bicycle riders at least three feet of space when passing. The old rule asked drivers to pass cyclists at a “safe distance” but did not specify the distance.
- Drivers must move to the left lane (if there are two or more lanes of traffic) or into the opposing lane (if there is a single lane of traffic) to pass bicyclists on the road.
- If there is only one lane of traffic in each direction, drivers must slow down and allow at least three feet of space between their vehicle and the bicycle.