The inherent dangers for bicyclists who share the road with automobiles in Indiana and across the United States is known. However, there has been a worrisome increase in serious injuries and fatalities in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident in recent years. It is important to understand the factors that are contributing to the rise. As with any accident, driving safety is a consideration and those who have been hurt or lost a loved one should know how to pursue compensation in a legal filing.
A recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that there were 857 bicycle fatalities in 2018. Another report from the National Transportation Safety Board analyzed bicycle accidents. Accidents involving bicyclists began increasing in frequency in 2011. In the last nine years, there has been a 37% increase in these fatalities. Researchers cite the following factors in causing the significant rise in bicycle fatalities: bigger vehicles; the rising use of smartphones; more drivers on the road; more people riding bicycles; and the slow progress of safety initiatives.
In the past decade, SUVs and pickups have been more popular. Since these vehicles are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, a collision can cause greater damage and this leaves bicyclists vulnerable. Statistically, these vehicles have a greater propensity for causing a fatality in a crash. Distracted driving is a known concern. Since people are prone to constantly being on their devices, it is logical to assume they will continue to do so when behind the wheel. This is causing many accidents and bicyclists and pedestrians are especially at risk.
The amount of time people spend on the road is increasing. This coincides with the number of bicycle fatalities. There was a 35% increase in road miles traveled from February 2010 to August 2019. People who ride bicycles are trying to save money and help the environment, among other reasons. While that is admirable, it also leads to a higher chance of a crash due to the volume of riders. Finally, Vision Zero and other safety strategies has slowed down. In many cities, it was implemented to help bicycle safety. But complaints and political wrangling has slowed its progress.
Bicyclists are prone to broken bones, spinal cord damage, head injuries, cuts, bruises and fatalities when they are in a motor vehicle accident. Researchers and legislators try to find sensible solutions to this escalating problem. Unfortunately, many of the factors are going to get worse. When there is a bicycle accident with serious injuries and death, it is important to think about the future. A law firm experienced in bicycle accidents, distracted drivers and driving safety may be able to help those seeking compensation.