There is an abundance of cycling groups in the United States, as well as numerous events that draw cyclists from all over. Unfortunately, despite road improvements, additional bike lanes, and aggressive public awareness campaigns, motor vehicle accidents involving cyclists are increasingly common. In light of the increased number of fatal cycling accidents, you should be aware of the problem and your rights if this type of accident occurs.
According to national statistics, fatal bike accidents are on the rise. From 2016 through 2018, 2,516 cyclists died in traffic accidents, a rate of about 2.6 per one million people. That was the highest three-year death rate since the mid-2000s.
Safety experts say there are a number of reasons for this increase, including:
- The increased number of drivers on the roads
- The increased number of bicyclists on the roads
- The increased number of large trucks and SUVs on the roads
- The prevalence of distracted drivers on the roads
- The failure of vehicle drivers to use caution when sharing the road with cyclists
- New cyclists are not as familiar with safe bike riding practices as they should be
- The failure of municipalities to implement changes to infrastructure in order to support bike safety
Protecting Yourself Against Cycling Accidents and Injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorists who drive under the influence are one of the leading causes of cycling accidents. However, there are other dangerous driving behaviors that can put cyclists at risk as well. These include:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions
- Running stop signs and disregarding other traffic signals
- Pulling out in front of cyclists in traffic
- Failing to look and see bicyclists at intersections or when making turns
- Driving distracted, which causes you to take your eyes off the road
- Drowsy driving, which involves being excessively fatigued or falling asleep behind the wheel
When cycling accidents occur as a result of negligent or reckless conduct on the part of the driver, they can be held responsible for their actions in a personal injury claim. When a crash involves serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs you incur. When a cycling accident proves fatal, filing a claim can provide a sense of justice and ensures the victim’s family gets the compensation they need to rebuild their lives.
Contact a Bike Accident Attorney Today
Good attorneys defend the rights of cyclists and their family members when accidents occur. If you have been injured in a bike accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. To discuss your case and how a bicycle accident attorney, like a bicycle accident attorney in Minneapolis, MN, can help, call around to schedule a consultation with a lawyer to find out what legal options you may have against the party responsible for your injuries.
Thanks to The Law Office of Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into fatal bicycle accidents.