How many people are killed while bicycling every year?
Competitive cyclist Irena Ossola was recently seriously injured while riding in New Mexico. The Santa Fe woman, who just placed in the CVR World Cup Women’s Elite Finish competition, was riding near West Alameda Street and Quail View Lane. The driver of a sport utility vehicle swerved in front of the cyclist, causing her to hit the vehicle. The driver claimed to police that the sun was in his eyes at the time of the accident. Ossola was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where friends, family members, and fans hope that she makes a full recovery.
Deaths Linked to Bicycle Accidents On the Rise
According to a recent study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, and funded by State Farm insurance, the number of bike deaths increased 12.2 percent in 2015. This rise in fatal bike accidents outpaced the increase in overall traffic fatalities. Other alarming statistics include:
- At least 45,000 cyclists were injured in 2015, with the true incidence of accidents likely far higher due to low police reporting;
- The majority of all fatal bike accidents happen on the roadway, rather than at intersections;
- Bike deaths are increasing by an estimated 55 deaths per year;
- Alcohol is a factor in 37 percent of bike accidents;
- Distracted driving accounts for a large amount of cyclist deaths.
When a crash occurs between a cyclist and a car, the cyclist is at critical risk of serious injury. Cyclists are relatively unprotected from impacts. While a bicycle helmet provides a cushion for the skull, the rest of the cyclist’s body is vulnerable to severe injury. As such, bicyclists need to use extreme caution when riding around cars and on major roadways.
Protect Yourself While Bicycling
If you will be biking to work, home, or for pleasure, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Observe the following:
- Wear bright clothing and illuminate your bike with lights of at least 150 lumens;
- Install and use a blinker on your bike;
- Let at least one person know where you are heading and when you will arrive;
- Always wear your helmet;
- Do not wear headphones and pay close attention to vehicles around you.
If you are injured in a bike accident, contact a personal injury attorney right away. Your attorney will help you to protect your legal rights and seek compensation for the losses you have suffered.
Posted in: Personal Injury