Not every car accident fatality involves a collision between two motor vehicles. Over 800 bicyclists die each year in the United States as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle. In many states, that number continues to rise.
According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the number of bicycle fatalities has consistently risen upwards of 12 percent each year. Cyclists have become the fastest-growing group of road fatalities with over 50 additional cyclists dying each year in the United States. Although the majority of bicycle fatalities involve riders over the age of 20, many bicycle fatalities involve small children who are particularly vulnerable when riding bicycles in the vicinity of cars and trucks.
Interactions between motorists and bicyclists continue to be a leading cause of bicycle deaths. Some of the most common circumstances that result in a death of a bicyclist include: when a motor vehicle turns into or across a bicyclist’s path; head on collisions with motor vehicles; or cyclists being hit when turning onto a major road from a minor road. The GHSA survey data highlighted another significant problem – the failure of drivers to see cyclists on the road. Almost 90 percent of automobile drivers involved in bicycle accidents reported they could not see the cyclist prior to the crash.
Bicycle Accident Injuries Can Be Catastrophic
Not every car accident involving a cyclist results in death. Other serious and life altering injuries resulting from collisions between cars and bicycles include:
- Broken bones
- Amputation of limbs
- Cracked skulls
- Injuries to chest and abdomen
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Loss of vision
To prevent a serious bicycle injury or bicycle death, both cyclists and motorists should become more aware of bicycle safety rules. Education campaigns are aimed at cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to raise awareness of the dangers associated with cycling. Many safety advocacy organizations such as the American Bicycling Education Association have created bike safety videos. These videos share important safety reminders to motorists and bicyclists such as the importance of wearing a helmet, how to actively manage a roadway’s lane space, recognizing the existence of a motor vehicle’s blind spots and the proper use of designated bike lanes.
Another important safety step is improving current infrastructures to separate cyclists from motorists as an effective countermeasure to bicycle fatalities. The use of marked bike lanes, “bicycle boulevards,” bike boxes and bicycle traffic lights can significantly lower the risks of serious injury or death for cyclists.
New federal laws such as the Fixing American’s Surface Transportation Act also have made bicycle safety an important goal. Signed by then President Barack Obama, the Act will increase the amount of federal spending on bicycling projects and promote a full integration of non-motorized accommodation into every federal surface transportation project. With enhanced penalties for motorists involved in wrecks with bicycles, stricter safety and equipment standards for bicycles (including electric bicycles) and the creation of a better bicycle infrastructure, the hope is to reverse the rise of bicycle deaths sooner rather than later.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Assist Victims of Bicycle Accidents and Their Families
If you or your loved one has been injured in bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers help families dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic wreck. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or submit an online inquiry form.
We represent injured accident victims in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County and across South Carolina.