January 2, 2015
Prepared by Dr. Allan Williams for the Governors Highway Safety Association the Bicyclist Safety report was released in October of 2014. The report highlights some important statistics regarding bicyclist safety in the United States, and makes suggestions on ways to improve biker safety. The report notes that there may be some evidence that more people are biking today, but it cautions that, “many will be deterred from biking if they do not feel safe.” So do Americans have a reason to worry about their safety while biking?
It appears that there has been a small, but significant increase in the number of bicyclists killed by vehicle collisions between the years 2010 and 2012. In 2010 there were 621 deaths compared to 722 in 2012. This means there was a 16% increase in fatal bike vs. car collisions in this two year period. It is important to note however that, “current yearly deaths of bicyclists are among the lowest since 1975”, in which there were 1,003 deaths. The 621 deaths in 2010 were the lowest number of deaths in the 38 years since data has been collected. This is good news, but it is troublesome that the number of deaths, since the all-time low of 621 in 2010, has been steadily increasing to 680 in 2011 to 722 in 2012.
Bicycle Death Demographics are Changing
According to the report there has been a major shift in the characteristics of those killed in bicycle crashes since 1975. In 1975, 21% of bicycle fatalities involved adults over the age of 20. However, in 2012, 84% of fatalities involved adults over the age of 20. It’s also interesting to note the difference gender makes on fatalities. “Males age 20 and older accounted for 74% of all bicyclist deaths in 2012, followed by males younger than 20 (14%), females 21 and older (10%), and females younger than 20 (2%).”
Alcohol and Bicycles Don’t Mix
Two of the most unsettling statistics from the report involves alcohol, and helmets. While many of the factors that play into a bicycle accident are out of one’s control, both the decision as to whether or not to wear a helmet, and to decide how much to drink, are well within one’s control. The report indicates that 28% of fatalities of those 16 and older involved bicyclists who had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher at the time of the crash. It also reports that “In 2012, FARS data indicated that 17% of fatally injured bicyclists were wearing helmets, 65% were not, and helmet use was unknown for 18%.” To put it another way, “More than 2/3 of fatally injured bicyclists in 2012 were not wearing helmets.”
Always Wear a Helmet
The personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group want to urge bicyclists to wear a helmet while riding. While wearing a helmet does not guarantee one’s safety, it is a simple step one can take to significantly increase the chance of survival if involved in a crash. Henley Legal Group would also like to encourage you to drink in moderation while biking, and to play it safe while on the roadways. It’s generally best to stay off your bike if you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of your car.
Hurt in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been struck by a car while biking, contact a bicycle accident attorney at Hensley Legal Group today. We can help you understand your options after a bike crash, and have the experience you deserve to handle your case. Bicycle vs. car collisions are often particularly devastating, but don’t think you have to go through it alone. The team at Hensley Legal Group is here to help 24/7. Contact us anytime at 1-888-436-7539, or contact us via the web. Fill out the ‘Get Help Now’ form and someone from our office will contact you immediately to help you with your case. We never charge a consultation fee, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay us unless you get paid. Contact us today, and get on the road to recovery.