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Serious Accidents Involving Bicyclists

Home » Serious Accidents Involving Bicyclists
November 24, 2016
Edward Smith

Accidents Involving Bicyclists

Bicycle Accidents

While bicycling can be a healthy and fun alternative to driving, it can also be kind of dangerous when some drivers fail to share the road like they are supposed to. Did you know that by regularly familiarizing yourself with the latest bicycle safety laws and understanding common causes of bicycling accidents, you can help prevent becoming the victim of a traumatic injury? If you have already been seriously injured as the result of a cycling accident, learning how to handle your insurance claims, healthcare, medical bills, and emotional healing is of maximum importance. Calling an experienced bike accident attorney who can give you free and friendly advice is the next right step. We know how to investigate bicycle versus motor vehicle accidents and what to look for when bicycles or their components fail.

Fatal Bicycle Accident Statistics

Bicycle collisions are a serious issue in our country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that 726 bicyclists were fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2012. The total death toll for bicyclists accounted for approximately 2 percent of all fatalities on the roadway in 2012. How is that when bicycles represented only about 1 percent of all traffic traveling along our roadways?

Other Helpful Accident Involving Bicyclists Statistics

In 1988, the average age of a bicycle accident victim was 24 years old. That number jumped to age 32 by 1998. Now that number is age 43. While bicycle accidents were formerly an epidemic among kids and young adults, they now include adults quite older. Female bicyclists make up about 12 percent of bike rider fatalities, while the balance of 88 percent is male. The numbers are generally similar for motorists, with some 29 percent of auto collisions triggered by the female gender and 71 percent triggered by their male counterparts. While visibility on our rural roadways is considered a major cause of collisions, urban areas make up for the majority of bicycle riding fatalities annually with 69 percent in 2011 and in 2012. The balance of 31 percent took place along rural areas. The most dangerous hour of the day for bicyclists is at dusk, with one-third of all biking accident fatalities happening around 4 pm to 8 pm. This is probably due to the high number of vehicles on the road during the commute hours, as well as reduced visibility and lighting. Other serious factors to mention include aggressive driving, failure to share the roadway, distracted driving, and drunk driving accidents.

Injury Statistics

Accidents involving bicyclists are serious. We see varying degrees of injuries, including:

Safety Tips

To reduce the risk of catastrophic injuries like those listed above, remember some of DMVs safety tips:

  • Maintain control of your bike at all times. Diligently scan the roadway as you ride. Follow all traffic and bicycle laws.
  • The bicycle should be the right size for the person riding it. It should be properly adjusted to the correct height and level of comfort. This reduces fatigue and improves keeping control of the bicycle.
  • Wear a properly fitted helmet. Bicyclists under the age of 18, are required by state law to wear a helmet along public roads. For others, it is highly suggested. As we mentioned above, head and brain injuries frequently occur in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles.
  • Use other protection like proper clothing and reflective gear. Make sure your bike has a good headlamp. Be alert and visible to motorists.
  • Anticipate the movement of others to avoid accidents.
  • Use hand signals to ensure motorists know where you are attempting to turn.
  • Ride with traffic. Despite what some bicyclists have been taught, all through traffic should flow in the same direction. This makes for optimal visibility. It also provides for easier passing and lane changing.
  • While riding on the right side of the road, bicyclists should position themselves as far to the right as possible allowing enough space between them and the curb to ensure their safety.
  • When hazards come up, bicyclists are encouraged to quickly look and signal before swerving if at all possible

After a Bicycle Accident Take These Steps

  • Seek immediate emergency medical attention. If you are involved in an accident, first begin to address medical concerns. Be certain you get help getting out of the roadway. However, if injuries are severe, 9-1-1 should be called immediately. It is crucial that you receive appropriate medical attention from a qualified medical professional. While some injuries may be treated on-site, others will require you to be taken to the emergency room. The most important thing you can do for yourself after a bike accident is to seek immediate medical attention.
  • Wait for Police. A traffic collision report is one of the most important documents an accident attorney can use to defend your claim. The police will also serve as a helpful mediator between you and the other party in the crash. Unless you have to leave to receive vital medical attention, you should wait for the police to arrive on the scene. Collect identifying information and insurance details from the individual, but other than that, limit your contact with them and avoid talking about fault.
  • You may talk to the police. For best results in court, settlement or mediation, having your version of the story taken by the police is key. Often, the first statements are best, as small details and facts are generally forgotten over time.
  • Finding witnesses. If there are any unbiased witnesses to the crash, get their contact information and see if they will give a statement to the police.
  • Document What Happened. Write down what you remember as the sequence of events leading up to and during the accident if you can. Commit these details to memory until you are able to record them. Don’t talk about the incident on social media.
  • Write down your injuries. Keep track of your medical treatment, including emergency room care, ambulance information, and other medical visits, hospitalization, medication, rehabilitation and describe the suffering you have experienced. This may include time missed from work or school, family stress, emotional trauma, or other issues.
  • Preserve Evidence. Keep accident clothing unwashed, take pictures if the clothing is available. DO NOT repair your bicycle or get rid of it. Your accident lawyer and his or her experts will use it in defense of your claim.
  • Get an Attorney. You don’t have to battle insurance companies, at-fault parties or police alone. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer has the knowledge and expertise to protect your rights, stand by your side and recover compensation for your injuries. This allows you to focus on the task of recovering from serious injuries, returning to work or school, and regaining the ability to ride again.
  • CHOOSING THE RIGHT BIKE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY.  Personal injury claims are very specific and require expertise and careful attention to the details. Bicycle accident cases require knowledge of California bike traffic laws, prejudice against bicyclists among jurors and motorists, bicycle manufacturers, components and their relevant values, and a strong network of expert witnesses who understand bicycle-related subjects such as motor vehicle physics and traumatic injury rehabilitation.

Sacramento Bike Accident Attorney

I’m Ed Smith a Sacramento bike accident attorney. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, please call me now at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. Or, call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

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